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The Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Jamaica are located on the Caribbean Plate; an oceanic tectonic plate that resides underneath Central America and the Caribbean Sea. While not as frequently occurring as in other parts of the world, earthquakes are still very common.
In light of the Magnitude 3.1 earthquake that hit Jamaica on August 22nd, 2019, we decided on this Earthquake Preparedness blog to give you tips on readying yourself and your family for an Earthquake.
1. Disaster supply kit: No earthquake preparedness plan is complete without a good disaster supply kit. This kit should include the essentials of any disaster situation; flashlights, batteries, medical aid kit, medication, anti-septic, candles, and matches. This list could be expanded to include additional items that you think you may need in the event of an earthquake.
2. Emergency supply of food and water: Clean drinking water and food is a must for an earthquake especially if the earthquake has the potential of interrupting your regular water supply and cut off access to food.
Store sterilised drinking water in sealable plastic gallons and keep non-perishable food items such as canned foods in a clean, dry environment.
3. Earthquake shelters and muster points: Earthquake shelters are specific buildings delegated as shelters in the event of an earthquake. They are normally structurally sound and able to withstand earthquake tremors and spacious enough to accommodate hundreds of affected residents. Muster points on the other hand, are wide open spaces with no trees or infrastructure that large crowds can assemble in the event of an Earthquake.
It is crucial that you be aware of the nearest earthquake shelters and muster points based on your location and have a route to them in the event of an earthquake.
4. Securing shelves and items: Strong earthquakes have the potential for knocking over appliances, cutlery, and shelves, which can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damages and also cause bodily harm to you and your family.
Be sure to securely bolt your shelves to the walls and always place the heavier items as well as fragile items (cutlery, ceramics) at the bottom shelves to add extra balance and decrease the likelihood of these items falling and causing harm to you.
5. Have a solid Home and Contents Insurance Plan: Having a solid Home and Contents Insurance Plan affords you the financial protection you need from natural disasters, particularly earthquakes.
In the event of any earthquake damage, your insurance policy will provide you with monetary compensation for lost items based on your plan.
Thanks for joining us this week for our Earthquake Preparedness piece. Join us again next week for more!