An Earthquake Survivor Shares His Survival Tips
Get survival tips from a survivor of the Christchurch earthquake.
Yadda yadda, who listens to public education campaigns anyways?! What do we know about earthquakes?
Whatever we know, let’s hear how to prepare to survive an earthquake from someone who experienced two major earthquakes in six months.
Logan McMillan, a filmmaker and photographer living in Christchurch experienced a “big shake” as he put it in September 2010. After that experience he did some earthquake prep so that he was better prepared to survive and recover when the February 22, 2011 earthquake hit.
Advice from Logan:
1. Move heavy things away from the bed:
“After we had a big shake in September 2010 that knocked a heavy painting off the wall and dented my girlfriend’s skull, I shifted the painting away from the bed and was a bit more prepared for the aftershock of February 22nd 2011.”
Whoa, re-read that paragraph.
In other words, lie in bed and look around and imagine what could fall on you, and then move it to where it won’t. That means no giant mirrors hanging over the bed, no leaning overstuffed bookcases, no televisions precariously balanced on the top of dressers.
Unfortunately Logan hadn’t tied everything down. “We still had our cups and plates out on shelves. They all smashed. And the TV smashed as well – in both quakes.”
2. Put your cups and plates in cabinets with child safety locks or else they’ll go flying and smash.
We asked Logan what would be the one simple thing about preparing for a disaster that people could learn from his experience. Logan couldn’t think of one. But he thought of two.
“4. Know your exits. The quake in September hit at 4am in the morning and was a massive shock. Power was out and we had to get out of our 6 story building in the dark.”
Having a flashlight and batteries, as well as emergency shoes under the bed, is a super handy thing when you have to leave a building at 4am in the dark.
“Also make sure heavy things are not in positions or unfastened so as they could hurt people.”
5. Secure your heavy possessions. Your refrigerator, bookcases, televisions, cabinets, karaoke units, heavy mirrors and pictures. You can learn to secure all of these things in our “Get Ready Quick” guide.
Logan prepared to survive the earthquake, and did! Nothing in his apartment was positioned so that it could hurt him because he had moved heavy objects such as pictures away from where they might hit someone. Even though the building he was living in was condemned and torn down afterwards, he was fine, and all of his secured stuff was just fine.
All it takes is a little preparation to survive.
Solid advice from a man who has lived through it. You heard the man, go tie something down today.
And while you’re at it, help a victim of the Christchurch earthquake. Donate today to the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal.
[Next paragraph only for earthquake nerds, everyone else stop reading here.]
The earthquake that hit Christchurch on February 22nd was actually an aftershock from a larger earthquake that occurred in October of 2010. Though smaller, the February aftershock caused much greater damage due to its epicenter being so close to downtown, the high levels of peak ground acceleration, and the geology of Christchurch itself.