10 earthquake safety tips for senior citizens

March 26, 2012

Here are a few safety tips to help you plan for an earthquakeIf you and your loved one live in an area that’s prone to earthquakes, or you’d just like a few tips to brush up on just in case, you should know that it’s easy to make a home better-suited to seniors during an earthquake. Here are 10 tips to go over.

1. Check for areas in the home that could be hazardous and fix them. This includes furniture that might topple over, loose overhead lighting fixtures, cracks in ceilings and walls, defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections, which could prove to be fire hazards.

2. Prepare for the worst. Put together an emergency kit with water, food, a flashlight and batteries, a whistle, extra eyeglasses, medications, contact information, cash and credit cards. This should be easily accessible.

3. Add security lights to each room. They plug into any outlet and will be illuminated when the electricity goes out.

4. Invest in a medical alert watch from Bay Alarm. With a medical alarm device, your loved one will be connected to emergency staff at the push of a button in the event of an earthquake.

5. Instruct your loved ones to move to a safe place, which should be determined beforehand. This includes anywhere away from windows, doors and any furniture that might topple.

6. It’s best to sit down in a chair or on the floor during an earthquake, as falling over is possible. Tell your loved one to cover his or her head and hold on to something stable. It’s also useful to stay in the same place until the shaking stops. A medical alert system with an automatic fall detection device can automatically place a call for help if your loved one is unable to.

7. If your loved one becomes trapped under debris, he or she should avoid inhaling dust by covering his or her mouth with a hand or handkerchief, then try to make as much noise as possible.

8. Don’t assume that it’s over, as most earthquakes have aftershocks. Your loved ones shouldn’t move until the shaking is completely over. Turning on a portable radio or television can inform you about what to do next.

9. Inspect all utilities to ensure that there is no damage. If you or your loved one notices a gas leak or electrical wire damage, turn off the main source and contact your local utility company.

10. If an evacuation is necessary, be sure that your loved ones know to inform you of where they’re going.

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