We were busy working away on Organice Your Life at her apartment, and all of a sudden I  mentioned to her I or something else was shaking… at first we thought it was construction. But it intensified, and we could literally feel her apartment building sway. Pictures on the wall were shaking as was a lot of furniture around her place.

Lonneke was like ‘ Was that just an earthquake’, and I said ‘It could of been’. We were a bit shaken up, and carried on for another five minutes or so, until we decided to turn on the news and see if we heard anything.

As soon as we turned it on we bolted from our chairs as we had just found out New York City had just experienced an earthquake, the tremors from the 5.8 Magnitude in Virginia yesterday. Our nerves were rattled and we were in semi-shock that something like that just happened.

It got us thinking of emergencies and if we would be prepared if a major one were to occur. With Hurricane Irene nearing land, and the potential migration of it up the Eastern Cost. I think we have to be aware of what to do in times of an emergency.

With regards to Earthquakes it depends on where you are, here are some guidelines to follow:

If indoors

  • DROP to the ground; take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and HOLD ON until the shaking stops. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.
  • Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.
  • Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.
  • Use a doorway for shelter only if it is in close proximity to you and if you know it is a strongly supported, loadbearing doorway.
  • Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. 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.
  • Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.
  • DO NOT use the elevators.

If outdoors

  • Stay there.
  • Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.
  • Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops. The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings, at exits and alongside exterior walls. Ground movement during an earthquake is seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.

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.

Try to stay still and calm. Your heart will already be working overtime, so make sure to take deep breaths and reserve all energy for movement and action, not stress and fear.

Also always have an emergency plan ready with family and friends. Make sure you know what to do if something were to happen, and discuss on a meeting point, plan of action, and have all contacts at all times.

I know even when I am traveling around the city, I always carry a snack and water on me, as I never know when I will be struck with hunger. If you are able to, carry around some nuts and energy bars with you, or if you work at an office store them at your desk in case of emergencies. Always have water available to you.

Also a handy thing to carry around is a mini flash light as they advice people to not light a match as you don’t know if gas pipes have leaked, which could cause an even greater disaster.

At home make an emergency kit with blankets, flashlights, windup radio, water, canned beans and vegetables, swiss-army knife, first aid kit and anything else you think you will need to survive on for days if you were stranded some place.

At the end of the day it is better to be prepared then not. We have to think ahead, and get ORGANICED :)

I know after experiencing this, I will make changes and not be so oblivious to natural disasters, and its aftermaths.

I hope this helped some of you, and I truly hope we never have to go through any emergencies.

Let’s stay safe and healthy and always live the best we can.