By Jessica Berget, Editor-in-Chief
In writing the feature this week, I learned a lot about earthquakes and earthquake safety. The 1200 words was not nearly enough to say everything that I wanted to say about this pressing issue—so I’ll say it here!
One of the things I learned about earthquakes are the many common misconceptions or fake safety measures. For instance, there is a popular myth—that we’ve all heard—that you are supposed to stand in a door frame in the event of an earthquake, but this has since been debunked. Standing in a doorway will do nothing to protect you or may even make you a bigger target. For one thing, there might be a door attached to that door frame, and doors are a big no-no when the ground is aggressively shaking—there is the very real possibility of the door slamming on your hand. You are also exposing yourself to any falling furniture or debris, and also, the doorway could possibly collapse!
Another myth I’ve heard I learned about in my BC Geography class is the “triangle of life” theory, which I later read was unsubstantiated. The triangle of life theory says that if you sit next to something taller than you rather than under a table, falling furniture will fall on the object you’re sitting by, leaving an open triangle or void between them that supposedly keeps you safe? This has also been debunked as the person who started it, Doug Copp, was making observations based on earthquakes in Turkey—where they have very different building codes, engineering, and standards of safety.
Besides the myths, there was a lot I learned about earthquakes I never knew. For instance, pet preparedness! In the event of an earthquake we know what we’re all supposed to do and supplies we need, but your pet needs supplies to survive as well. The City of Vancouver website recommends you have your veterinary records in a Ziplock bag, medication (if needed), a pet first aid kit, extra collars and leashes, blankets, toys, kennels, cat litter, food for three days, and of course—treats… and lots of them. Your pets have been through an ordeal.
Another thing to worry about is the prospect of tsunami’s—which is a very real fear living close to the water. If you are by the beach during an earthquake it is likely that there will be a tsunami following. Get away from the beach and move to higher ground after the ground stops shaking.