Unlike many types of natural disasters, earthquakes are completely unpredictable. The lack of warning can make it very difficult to prepare or react, but with some planning and a few simple tips, you can be ready if an earthquake hits.
1. Know your risk
Some areas are more likely to have earthquakes than others, and an RV owner should know what type of natural disasters are a higher risk for the area they’re in. If going to an area by a fault line or mountains, any RVer should be prepared for an earthquake. Knowing is half the battle, and knowing your surroundings and geographical dangers can make a huge difference in preparedness.
2. Have the right resources available
Like with any natural disaster, an RVer should have the right emergency equipment and rations available. It is important to keep a fire extinguisher in the RV and to check that it is still operational. Earthquakes can easily break gas lines or knock flammable items onto candles or burner plates, which can easily cause fires. It’s also important to have plenty of clean water, enough food to last at least a few days, a first aid kit, and emergency supplies.
3. Keep belongings secure
One hazard of earthquakes is belongings and debris falling and injuring people, but this can be prevented. Whenever possible, keep whatever is possible secured in storage spaces, tied down, or lower to the ground. The last thing needed during an earthquake is knives and glassware falling from overhead cabinets.
4. Stay inside the RV
During an earthquake, many people feel like it would be safer to exit the RV. However, RVs are more able to move and absorb energy than stiff structures. While the rigidity of buildings can cause them to fracture and collapse, RVs can move with the earth and are less likely to fall apart on a person. This means it is actually safer to stay inside the vehicle during an earthquake in most cases. The RV can protect people from falling power lines, trees, glass, or any other debris. If you’re driving when the earthquake hits, carefully pull over, come to a complete stop, and put on the emergency break. If near the ocean and there is a risk of a tsunami, drive to a safer location when and if it is safe to do so.
5. Check for damage
Once the earthquake has passed, and if it is safe to do so, check for any damage to the RV. It is important to check that the suspension isn’t broken, the alignment is still correct, and the frame is still ok. It is also important to check for any leaking liquids, which could be a sign of a much larger problem. Any major damage to the RV could pose a danger to the driver, and it would be safer to stay put and wait for help.
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