“An earthquake is a sudden and rapid shaking of the ground caused by the shifting of rocks deep underneath the earth’s surface. Earthquakes can happen without warning and result in injuries and damage to property and roads. Earthquakes can cause fires, tsunamis, landslides, or avalanches.” – https://www.ready.gov/earthquakes
Much the same as we prepare for Hurricane Season, recent seismic activity in the neighboring region strongly indicates that we should prepare for potential impact in the Virgin Islands. Authorities have also issued notices on monitoring activity and to get information and stay updated through the Department of Disaster Management.
If an earthquake happens, protect yourself right away. BVI DDM advises you to:
- Protect your head, face (and neck)
- If inside a building get under a strong desk or table
- Do not try to run outside as you can be injured by falling debris.
- Move away from outer walls, windows, glass doors, heavy mirrors, pictures, bookcases, hanging plants and heavy objects.
- Watch for falling plaster, bricks, lighting fixtures and other objects.
- Do not use elevators.
- If you are outside, stay there. Stand away from buildings, trees, and electrical lines.
- If you are driving, you should safely park the vehicle away from electrical poles and overhead wires. Do not stop on a bridge or close to buildings from which debris may fall. Remain in the vehicle.
- If you are in a store or shop, move away from display shelves containing bottles, cans, or other objects that may fall.
You can also check DoHS website which suggests that you
Drop: Drop wherever you are on to your hands and knees.
Cover: Cover your head and neck with your arms. If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter. If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall (away from windows). Crawl only if you can reach better cover without going through an area with more debris. Stay on your knees or bent over to protect vital organs.
Hold on: If you are under a table or desk, hold on with one hand and be ready to move with it if it moves. If you can’t find a table or desk, cover your head and neck with both arms and hands. If seated and unable to drop to the floor, bend forward, cover your head with your arms, and hold on to your neck with both hands.
You should also take time to check your home and prepare ahead of the disaster by securing heavy items on your property like shelving, wardrobes, refrigerators, and other objects hanging on your walls.
If an earthquake has just happened, there can be serious hazards such as damage to the building, leaking gas and water lines, or downed power lines.
Expect aftershocks to follow the main shock of an earthquake. Do not enter damaged buildings. If you are trapped, protect your mouth, nose, and eyes from dust.
We have compiled a list of recommended Emergency Supplies gathered from external sources including DDM and FEMA to help you be prepared.
Emergency Supplies to last at least 3 days should include a first aid kit, survival kits and emergency water and food at home and the workplace. You should also make sure that you store important documents in a fire-proof container.
You may consider having a grab bag at work under your desk and in your car to include:
1 liter water
First aid kit
Power snack/energy bars
We have marked items available at Drakes Traders with a * First Aid Kit* which also should include scissors, tweezers, instant cold packs for sprains and splinting materials
Flashlight and extra batteries*
Whistle for signaling
Rope for towing or rescue*
Plastic sheeting / Tarp*
Heavy duty gloves*
Heavy duty garbage bags*
Sturdy shoes (for safety and protection from walking on broken glass and debris)
Portable radio and extra batteries*
Water (1 gallon of water per person/pet per day for 3 days)
Food (non-perishable to last at least 3 days)
Power snack/energy bars*
Baby formula and baby supplies
Manual can opener*
Sets of cutlery and plastic plates*
Change of clothes for each person
Bed sheet for each person
Cell phone (fully charged)
Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
Paper and pencil*
Ownership certificates (vehicles, boats, etc.)
Photographs of contents of every room and high value items
Store items in airtight waterproof bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers or weather proof bags. Keep the containers in an area that is easy to access in an emergency.