Week 5 – Will your Family Survive the Earthquake?

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By Jackie Kloosterboer – Author – My Earthquake Preparedness Guide

Sitting at your desk when all of a sudden the ground beneath your feet starts to shake – with each passing moment the shaking grows stronger and stronger. Your heart sinks as you realize your worst fears are being met. This is an Earthquake!

Immediately your thoughts race to your family.  Where are they?  How are they?  Have they even survived it?
You pick up your cell phone and hit send and nothing – your phone is dead. You wonder how you will find out if your family is OK.

Week 3 of my Blog was about the importance of having your Out of Area Contact in place for your family to connect when phone lines are down after an earthquake.  Simply put, your Out of Area Contact is a friend or family member who lives out of the province or state that you and your family will call if unable to connect using local phones. Often long distance will work when local lines do not work. You call in and get updates on family members who have already called in.
Following an earthquake there is no guarantee what will be available for you connect with your family. Until the earthquake happens we just don’t know.  What we do know is – you need to have options!  If plan A doesn’t work, you have a plan B, a plan C and so on and so on.  The more options you have the better your chance to connect with your family. 
Today the focus is on some of the additional options you and your family need to put into place so you will have the ability to connect following the earthquake.

Social Media 

With many recent disasters around the world we have seen and heard the success of people being able to connect with their families and loved ones using a variety of social media channels. With so many options you need to plan with your family how you could best connect using Social Media.  It is important to remember that when planning with your family you need to do what works best for you.

We have seen success with FaceBook in connecting people.  You post on Facebook advising your location and that you are ok. This information gets out very quickly – keep checking back until you hear from your family members.  You also may see updates from other people you know and may be able to help others connect.  However – like anything there is no guarantee this will work.
Texting is another great option that may be available to you and your family. A word of caution – don’t assume the person you are texting has received your text.  Just because you were able to send it doesn’t mean he or she have received it.  They may not have their phone with them or their battery may be dead. You need to receive a response back.

Social Media is not only an excellent option to connect with your family, it can also provide you with important information about the earthquake or disaster you are facing. A word of caution. Make sure the reports you are reading are from a reliable source.  We have seen situations using social media where people are receiving information that may not be correct.  Be Cautious!

Your Task for Week #5:

  1. Sit down with your family to identify what your best options would be to connect – FaceBook, Twitter, etc. 
  2. You may want to include your extended family – they will want to know how you are doing after a major earthquake.  Keep in mind if someone doesn’t have a Facebook account that may not be your best option. Remember its about doing what works for you and your family.
  3. Kids spend time with two parents – make sure your plans will work at both homes and have a conversation with your kids about this. 

Next week we will look at additional ways to connect with your family including identifying your Family Meeting Places.  

Until then – stay safe and get you your family and pets prepared.

The time to prepare is NOW – once the earthquake strikes it will be too late!

Jackie Kloosterboer

Jackie Kloosterboer has been leading the way in earthquake preparedness for 2 decades presenting more than 100 Earthquake Preparedness sessions each year to groups and businesses. She is often interviewed by a variety of media outlets across Canada as she promotes the importance of earthquake and disaster preparedness.

As an Emergency Preparedness Specialist and an Instructor with the Justice Institute of BC Jackie travels across Canada teaching how to respond to disasters to help those who have been displaced. Throughout British Columbia Jackie has taken on leadership roles assisting those who have been impacted by disaster.  

Contact Jackie to speak to your group or business or to ask any questions at (604) 355-2414 or jackie@survive-it.ca

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