One of the first things to go bad in an earthquake will be your windows. This poses all kinds of problems for us. As most of us do, we have windows in our bedrooms. So think about how close your bed is to the glass. Are you safe from shattered pieces? How about walking out of the room to get to a safer location, will you need to walk over the shattered glass area to get out of the room safely?
So let’s first look more at this situation. You will need to have a pair of shoes right at your fingertips, on the bedpost, right under the bed where they will be safe from glass getting into them, but where you can grab them easily. On top of this they will need to be shoes that you can fit on quickly. Even a little larger pair will do. You won’t have time to put on socks, so you will need to have socks along with your other clothing at your safety point. Getting out of the room if it is unsafe is your first objective.
You have now slipped on the shoes, ran to your safe spot, and as soon as it passes you are now ready to face the situation. Three items will always be your top priority over the long duration of the rebuilding and cleaning up. There will be of course issues that will take immediate priority, such as first aid, triage, children and much more. But in the long-term of it all, these three items must stay at the top of your list and mindset.
First; Shelter! In extreme heat, cold weather, even in the middle of summer nights can get cold. It could be raining or snowing. From any of these issues, Shelter is a top concern.
Next, Water. Of course you have been planning all of these items on your own design already. If you haven’t start working on them in this order. Remember this rule of thumb; You can go three days in extreme weather (on the average) before dire life threatening concerns come into play. You can go three days in dire means without water before life threatening concerns start to happen. You can go three weeks without food in many cases. Yes, we want to eat to maintain energy and survive. Yes, you should make this staple a main priority. However, Shelter, Water and a fuel source should be the top of your list. Again, after you have attended to the immediate needs at hand, which are those life threatening and family safety items… Which I will cover in a later issue.
Getting back to the damage from the quake. One item at hand that aids in the above need of survival is shelter. You windows are shattered. Repairing supplies such as wood, nails, plastic sheeting and more will disappear in seconds if folks are able to access a hardware store. You might not, and probably will not be the first in line at that store, or make it to the line at all. So you need to be prepared ahead of time. This is one method that seems to be working for me.
For starters purchase some plastic sheeting in the quantity that would allow you to secure a room or two for your sheltered area. The plastic will serve as your new windows until greater repair can take place. Or… it will be your shelter if you are out of the home. Here is what I grabbed from my local hardware store.
Now you have the sheeting how are you going to put it up? I purchased furring strip lumber to use as framing over the sheeting inside my window frames.
I am protecting these strips from weather by placing them inside of some ABS pipe which I also grabbed at the hardware store. Locally you can get the width of ABS you need without any difficulty. So I have a 10″ ABS pipe that is 8’feet long.
Then I purchased a solid end cap, and an attachable cap that will allow me to twist it on and off of the pipe so I can get access into it when needed. I placed my wooden furring strips inside of the pipe. Capped off one end and attached the other end cap that screws on and off. In this method the wood will not warp on me. It will not get wet and rot on me, so it is now available anytime I need it. This method also allows me to keep it outside or easily stored in my garage. The ABS pipe protects it from roofing or building materials that might crash down on it in an earthquake. I hope this idea might be of use to you!