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Post Earthquake Cleanup

In the days following an earthquake, you’ll need to focus on reuniting your family, checking for safety, and working toward getting your home back in shape. Listen to the radio for safety advisories.

Be prepared for cleanup with work gloves, long-sleeved shirts and pants, eye protection, and a dust mask handy. Check for gas leaks and flammable liquid spills before returning to your home. Click https://www.allproutah.com/ to learn more.

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As with any disaster, the priority is to take care of yourself and those you love. Once you’re safe, take inventory of any structural damage. Check for cracks and other signs of damage throughout your home or workplace. It would be best if you also looked for furniture that may fall and block means of egress or cause a release of hazardous materials.

If you’re in a building with structural damage, evacuate immediately. Please do not use the elevator unless it has been deemed safe. Only travel on bridges or freeway overpasses once they’re inspected. Remember that aftershocks are common and may be larger than the original earthquake.

Evacuation from buildings can be especially dangerous if there’s been an explosion or the presence of gas leaks, electrical hazards, chemical spills, or structural damage. You should always follow an emergency action plan during an evacuation and stay calm. If you’re trapped in a building, use the drop, cover, and hold-on technique to reduce injuries.

After an earthquake, you may need to secure loose items in your home and work area. This can help prevent them from falling during aftershocks. It’s important to store heavy items like books and china on low shelves, hang pictures from closed hooks, and place breakables in cabinets with latches. Ensuring all your home and office appliances are properly secured is also a good idea.

Earthquake cleanup can also include repairing damage to buildings and other structures. This process aims to ensure that the building is safe and able to be used again after an earthquake. Many repairs can be done quickly, but others will take longer. For example, repairing deep plaster cracks and foundations can be time-consuming.

Developing new codes, standards, and guidelines is important to improve the recovery time for building functions. These changes can help designers, planners, and engineers create safer, more resilient buildings. This is a vital part of the seismic risk management process, which can reduce the impact of future earthquakes.

In the event of a significant earthquake, staying calm and following your emergency plan is important. Look for aftershocks and potential secondary hazards like fire, landslides, and flooding.

If trapped in a building, stay there until the shaking stops, then exit carefully. Wear shoes to protect your feet from broken glass and other debris that may have fallen during the earthquake. Most serious injuries in earthquakes are caused by hasty or careless actions, not collapsing buildings. Remember to check for and clear away any fallen objects and broken water pipes.

When you reach safety, note any damage and listen to your radio for updates and instructions. Only re-enter buildings once they have been examined and considered safe by emergency personnel. If your home has been damaged, shut off the gas and water valves to prevent further leakage. Do not use camp stoves, charcoal grills, or generators indoors; they can release deadly carbon monoxide and be a fire hazard in aftershocks.

Check your family members for any injuries and take photographs of any damage to your home. If your power is out, be careful about using candles and lanterns, as they can quickly start a fire. If you do use a flashlight, be sure to keep it pointed downwards to avoid eye injury. You can still drink melted ice cubes or canned food if your water is off.

Be cautious when opening closets and cabinets; contents may have shifted during the earthquake. If you encounter a downed electrical line, do not touch it; instead, ask an emergency worker to remove it. If you have a cell phone, only call for life-threatening emergencies; otherwise, limit the number of calls you make to one person per minute.

When working outdoors during cleanup, wear work gloves, long-sleeved shirts, pants, and sturdy shoes. A ventilation mask and eye protection are also recommended. Avoid drinking contaminated water, and do not eat tainted food. It is best to work with a partner during cleanup.

When a natural disaster hits, it can leave behind a lot of debris and waste. This can block roadways, slow relief and recovery efforts, and clog waterways and soil. Debris can also cause health hazards for residents. Chemicals and pollutants leach from sewage, garbage, and other waste materials into water and soil, posing long-term risks to people’s health.

The best way to prepare your property for post-earthquake cleanup is to develop and implement a safe work plan. This should be a written procedure that includes shutting down and draining piping, securing hazardous material, and ensuring fire protection systems are operative and ready to go. In addition, workers should have access to the latest safety advisories and updates from local government authorities.

Workers involved in cleanup should wear protective equipment, such as work gloves and long-sleeved shirts or pants, and have a respirator. They should also take frequent breaks in a cool or air-conditioned area and stay hydrated. They should not enter buildings or areas that appear structurally compromised and avoid contacting live electrical wires.

For businesses that cannot operate, communication with employees should be maintained through an internal website, social media, and text messaging. Updates can also be recorded on a general phone line for those who need to be contacted, such as customers and vendors. Remember that displaced workers may need to relocate, so you should also consider how to communicate that information to your workforce.

If the earthquake damages your home or building, it’s important to document all damage. You can do this by taking photographs, making a list, and saving all receipts. You can claim back the cost from EQC or your insurance company. However, the Earthquake Commission recommends that you only undertake cleaning and repair work that doesn’t put yourself or others at risk. It’s also a good idea to find a tradesman who has experience in post-earthquake repair and rebuilding.

The recovery process can take up to two years during the first three months after an earthquake. Neighborhoods closer to the epicenter and those with more renter-occupied housing and new immigrants have slower recoveries than other neighborhoods. Neighborhoods with lower immediate impact and higher recovery speed are those built with wood-frame buildings and areas with high-income households and a low percentage of renter-occupied housing.

The functional recovery of a building is the maintenance, or restoration, of the system integrity required to satisfy its basic intended function. This involves resuming service levels associated with pre-earthquake occupancy, use, and maintenance procedures.

 The distribution of the different types of structures and their level of damage makes it difficult to determine how many resources are needed for each building to reach functional recovery. To address this challenge, Mohammadgholibeyki et al. [26] proposed a probabilistic method to estimate the time to restore utility services using an urban network model. The method enables engineers to focus on the specific needs of each building and reduces the complexity of regional seismic hazards and network models.