Most accidents during emergency natural disasters such as earthquakes happen because people panic and do not know what to do.
Although Singapore is not part of the Pacific ring of fire region because it sits on an old rock to the north of Indonesia, it still gets a few tremors if there are quakes in the nearby countries.
What are the things you should and should not do during an earthquake?
- Don’t run around screaming during the earthquake. Stay calm until the earthquake has stopped.
- Calmly move away from glass windows or walls that can potentially break if you are indoors. Watch out for falling objects on shelves as well as those hanging from the walls.
- Do not stand near a doorway during the earthquake as it can collapse.
- If you are outdoors, slowly move away from utility wires, streetlights, trees, and tall buildings that could potentially collapse.
- Do look out for ceiling fixtures such as lights and fans which might fall and break. Calmly walk to and stay near solid walls or columns. If there is a desk or a sturdy table, calmly duck and get under it to protect your head.
- Unplug appliances or gadgets if you are able to do so. If you are in the kitchen and using an open flame, turn off the stove or oven before evacuating. Do not leave your appliances still running.
- Do not run outside if you are already inside a building or your home. Likewise, do not run into a building or into your home if you are already outside. Stay where you are but walk calmly to a safer area. If the earthquake is strong, you might not be able to move far anyway.
- If you have caged pets, free them so they can run to safety.
- If you are in a high-rise building, do not take the elevators. Take the stairs down instead. However, if you are already in the elevator, get off the next floor immediately.
- Remember the emergency evacuation plans so you will know where to go after the earthquake. If you are inside a building, it is standard practice to evacuate to avoid injuries in case of aftershocks.
- If you are at an apartment complex, you should also evacuate following the emergency guidelines. Wait for further instructions to avoid injuries.
- If you are driving, slow down and stop on the side of the road away from large trees or utility wires or under a bridge. Get out of your car and stay calm until the earthquake stops.
- Avoid bridges or flyovers during the earthquake, but if you are traveling on one, calmly get to a safer place until the earthquake stops.
- Do not contact your loved ones right away after the earthquake. Give it some time to avoid adding communication jams. A message is better than a phone call.