Although strong earthquakes in Catasauqua are rare, there have been numerous minor tremors that have affected the Catasauqua area. Earthquakes can happen almost anywhere with little or no notice. Because earthquakes are infrequent, many residents forget to prepare for them.
If an earthquake should occur, drop, cover and hold on. Minimize your movements to a few steps to a nearby safe place and if you are indoors, stay there until the shaking has stopped and you are sure exiting is safe.
DROP to your hands and knees.
COVER your head and neck with your arms. This position protects you from falling and provides some protection for vital organs. Because moving can put you in danger from the debris in your path, only move if you need to get away from the danger of falling objects. If you can move safely, crawl for additional cover under a sturdy desk or table. If there is low furniture, or an interior wall or corner nearby and the path is clear, these may also provide some additional cover. Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.
HOLD ON to any sturdy shelter until the shaking stops.
Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.
If you are in bed:
STAY there and COVER your head and neck with a pillow. At night, hazards and debris are difficult to see and avoid; attempts to move in the dark result in more injuries than remaining in bed.
DO NOT get in a doorway as this does not provide protection from falling or flying objects and you likely will not be able to remain standing.
Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Do not exit a building during the shaking. Research has shown that most injuries occur when people inside buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave.
DO NOT use the elevators.
Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.
If you can, move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.
Once in the open, Drop, Cover, and Hold On. STAY THERE until the shaking stops. This might not be possible in a city, so you may need to duck inside a building to avoid falling debris.
If in a Moving Vehicle:
Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.
Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that might have been damaged by the earthquake.
If Trapped Under Debris:
Do not light a match.
Do not move about or kick up dust.
Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.
Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you. Use a whistle if one is available. Shout only as a last resort. Shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.
When the Shaking Stops:
When the shaking stops, look around to make sure it is safe to move and there is a safe way out through the debris. Then exit the building.
Expect aftershocks. These secondary shockwaves are usually less violent than the main quake but can be strong enough to do additional damage to weakened structures and can occur in the first hours, days, weeks, or even months after the quake. Drop, Cover, and Hold On whenever you feel shaking.
Check for injuries and provide assistance if you have training. Assist with rescues if you can do this safely.
Look for and extinguish small fires. Fire is the most common hazard after an earthquake. Never use a lighter or matches near damaged areas.
Listen to a battery-operated radio or television for the latest emergency information.
Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
Stay away from damaged areas. Stay away unless your assistance has been specifically requested by police, fire, or relief organizations. Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
Be careful when driving after an earthquake and anticipate traffic light outages.
After it is deteried that its’ safe to retur, your safety should be your primary priority as you begin clean up and recovery.
Open cabinets cautiously. Beware of objects that can fall off shelves.
Put on long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, sturdy shoes and work gloves to protect against injury from broken objects.
Clean up spilled medicines, bleaches, gasoline or other flammable liquids immediately. Leave the area if you smell gas or fumes from other chemicals.
Inspect the entire length of chimneys for damage. Unnoticed damage could lead to a fire. Inspect utilities.
Check for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve if you can and call the gas company from a neighbor’s home. If you turn off the gas for any reason, it must be turned back on by a professional.
Look for electrical system damage. If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell hot insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If you have to step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker, call an electrician first for advice.
Check for sewage and water lines damage. If you suspect sewage lines are damaged, avoid using the toilets and call a plumber. If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid using water from the tap. You can obtain safe water by melting ice cubes.