What Does an Earthquake Mean and How to Prepare for It?

What Does an Earthquake Mean and How to Prepare for It?

Quakes may take place anytime without giving any prior caution. While there are fewer tremors compared to other regions, Canada is not an exception to these natural calamities. Thus, it is important to be prepared for the disasters and know what they are in order to be safe and reduce losses. This article intends to describe the nature of earthquakes, how to prepare for them, what to do during and after these calamities, the benefits of a portable power station, and many other essential tips for preparedness. For most ruinous effects that come with the same, being well-informed and prepared may place you in a better position to safeguard yourself and your properties.

What Does an Earthquake Mean?

It refers to the shaking of the surface of the Earth due to a sudden release of energy. This energy is the leading cause of seismic waves, which spread through the Earth. In most cases, these calamities are caused by movement along the plates' boundaries, moving either toward each other or away from one another. These plates are vast sections of the universe's crust that fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. But when they put too much pressure against each other's edges, due to the friction between them, stress builds up. When that stress crosses the level of friction, it's released in the form of an earthquake.

The Richter scale measures the energy released and the power behind an earthquake. More significant magnitudes indicate more incredible energy and, therefore, more power in the disaster. Earthquakes can also cause many forms of destruction, including collapsed buildings, landslides, and especially tsunamis, in areas near the tectonic boundaries. In Canada, earthquakes are not as common, but they happen more often in British Columbia than across the country, although other areas are at risk.

Earthquakes have terrible impacts. They cause the loss of life, injuries, and significant economic losses. Structures like buildings and bridges could be damaged or destroyed. The secondary effects of fires, floods, and landslides will make the impacts more terrible. However, understanding the nature of earthquakes is a first step toward preparing and mitigating their consequences.

Prepare Before an Earthquake

For reducing an earthquake's impact, preparedness is the real key. Below are some of the essential things to do before this calamity hits:

  • Develop a Plan: Know what you will do with the family in time of this disaster. Identify safe spots in all rooms. This can be under sturdy furniture or against an interior wall away from windows. Practice the drop, cover, and hold-on technique often.
  • Make an Emergency Kit: Have a box packed with essentials. These include water, food, medications, flashlights, batteries, and a first aid pack. And make it known where this storage is in the household.
  • Secure your home: Anchor heavy furniture to walls and keep water heaters and gas appliances safe. Also, use latches to hold cabinets during these disasters. Don't forget to store breakables and heavy items on lower shelves.
  • Know how to shut off utilities: This is essential, especially water, in the case of a leak or other emergency.
  • Check Building Safety: Employ an expert who will check the house to see any structural weaknesses and carry out proper reinforcements. He can fortify the foundation, chimneys, and other weak areas.
  • Be Informed: Stay informed about the latest earthquake information and know your workplace, school, or daycare emergency plans.

Protect Yourself Immediately if Having an Earthquake

During an earthquake, what you do within the first few seconds will mean safety or injury to you. Take these steps to protect yourself:

  • Drop, Cover, and Hold On: Set down your hands and knees to prevent being knocked over. If there is a sturdy table or desk nearby, to avoid injury from falling on the way down, go down to the floor to crawl under it for shelter. Cling to your shelter until the shaking stops. If there isn't a suitable shelter, then get down next to an interior wall or subsequent to low-lying furniture that won't fall on you and cover your head and neck.
  • Take Cover Indoors: Do not run outside. Most injuries occur when people try to move during the shaking. Stay away from windows, glass, outside doors, and walls. If you are in bed, remain there and enclose your head and neck with a pillow.
  • Go to an open space: Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires, trees. Fall to the ground and remain there until the shaking stops.
  • While Driving: Steer to a clear area. Park and rest inside the vehicle with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking ceases. Don't stop under overpasses, bridges, and power lines. 
  • In a Crowded Place: Do not rush to the exit. Instead, take cover and protect your head and neck. Drop, cover, and hold on.

Stay Safe After an Earthquake

After the earthquake, effects may also be as dangerous as during the event. Here's how to stay once the shaking stops:

  • Check for Injuries: Examine yourself and others for hurts. Administer first aid when necessary, but do not move seriously harmed people unless they are in immediate danger.
  • Checking for Damage: Look for and put out small fires. Fires are the most common hazard following this disaster. Scrutinize your home for structural damage and risks like gas leaks, water line breaks, and electrical shorts.
  • Fixed Utilities: If you believe there are gas leaks or electrical damage, ensure that you shut off the gas and electricity. Do not turn these utilities back on until a professional has inspected them. 
  • Listen to emergency information: do this over a battery-powered radio for updates and instructions, and follow any advice from local authorities.
  • Be ready for aftershocks: Subsequent more minor shakes may follow and result in more destruction. During aftershocks, further practice the drop, cover, and hold-on technique.
  • Assist Others: Check on neighbors, particularly the elderly, disabled, and people with a young child. Help them in any possible way you can.
  • Stay Out Of Damaged Buildings: Do not enter any destroyed property until they have been inspected and officially cleared by the proper authorities. Be mindfully observant of falling debris and other risks. 
  • Document Damage: Photograph the damage for insurance claims.

Is It Necessary to Buy a Portable Power Station in Case?

Yes, a portable power station could be critical in the aftermath of an earthquake. In the event of an earthquake, blackouts are constant immediately afterward. But, with a suitable power source, you should be able to have power going into your main gadgets and equipment, like medical equipment. Notable examples include:


This is a powerful and versatile power station ideal for emergency preparations. With a 1536Wh capacity, it can deliver 2400W of continuous power. Its features include :

  • Water and Dust Resistance: The AC240 has been designed to be fully protected for all harsh conditions, hence ideal for use outdoors and in disaster scenarios.
  • High Output: The inverter can power many devices at the same time, thus ensuring you have power for communication devices as well as medical equipment.
  • Expandable Capacity: It allows the connection of extra battery packs to increase its capacity, ensuring prolonged power during extended outages.


Another powerhouse is this model, which has 2000Wh and superfast charging capabilities. Key features include:

  • Reliable Power: It runs on a LiFePO4 battery with an advanced Battery Management System, which provides safe and reliable power. 
  • Fast Charge: Going from empty to 80% complete in just 45 minutes, you are sure to never find yourself powerless at the most inconvenient times.
  • Scalable: the AC200L is compatible with expansion batteries, which allow it to grow its capacity significantly.

What Else Do I Need to Know About Earthquake Preparedness?

Preparing for earth tremors involves more than taking action during the immediate emergency. Below are additional steps to ensure complete earthquake readiness:

  • Be Informed: Stay informed of safety and earthquake protocols. Attend community workshops and drills to remain informed.
  • Emergency Contacts: Write down the contact details of your emergency contacts, such as family members, neighbors, locals in your areas, and emergency services. Make sure everyone in your household is informed about how to go about reaching such people.
  • Financial Preparedness: Save an emergency fund that you can tap for repair costs due to earthquake damage. Revisit your insurance policy for its coverage of earthquake-related damages.
  • Communication: Also, work out a communication plan with your family and friends. Have an out-of-area contact person that everyone could check in with during an emergency.
  • Home inventory: Keep an up-to-date record of the content in your home. This can help accelerate your insurance claims and loss-determining process.
  • Pets and Animals: Include your pets in your emergency planning. Make sure you have their food, water, and other supplies in your prepared emergency kit. 
  • Drill: Regular exercises should test your earthquake plan, with practice at different times and under scenarios one may be confronted with in trying to implement it.

Final Thoughts

Earthquakes can happen at any time without warning. However, one can be well-prepared to ensure their safety and protection from damages. It is essential to know what an earthquake means and to plan well in advance. Knowledge of what to do during and after, with the correct tools, is also crucial in minimizing risks and impacts. Stay informed, make a plan, and practice regularly so you will be ready for anything with your loved ones.

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