Are you prepared for a natural disaster?
Score: 0 15
Question: 0 of 15
Question: 0 of 15
Score: 0 15
Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops. The main danger is directly outside buildings, at exits and along exterior walls. Most earthquake deaths result from falling walls, glass and other objects.
- Stay out in the open.
- Take shelter in a door frame.
- Lean against a nearby building.
- Climb a tree or other structure.
Avoid walking through floodwater if possible, especially where it's 6 inches or deeper. If you have no other option, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
- 3 inches
- 6 inches
- 9 inches
- 12 inches
Never open windows to "equalize pressure." That's a myth. Closed windows offer more protection from flying debris, but don't bother boarding them up. Just close them and head for a central room on the lowest floor.
- Open them
- Close them
- Board them up
- Look through them
Human ears can also hear the sound of lightning from about 10 miles away. So if you're outside and hear thunder, you're already in danger.
- 1 mile
- 5 miles
- 10 miles
- 15 miles
A refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours if it stays closed, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Check the temperature to be sure; it should be 40º F or less to store perishable food.
- 2 hours
- 4 hours
- 6 hours
- 8 hours
The best methods are boiling and distillation, but careful treatment with unscented bleach or filtration pumps can also work. Freezing water forces out some contaminants, but bacteria may survive in the ice.
- Use charcoal or ceramic filtration pumps
- Mix 8 drops of household bleach per gallon
- Boil for at least 1 minute, then cool to drink
- Partly freeze, pour off liquid, melt ice to drink
Always leave the path if possible, but if you can't, FEMA advises curling into a tight ball and protecting your head. The flow can fell trees and crush cars, and landslides generally move much faster than humans can run.
- Curl up tightly and protect your head
- Run in the direction debris is flowing
- Get inside the nearest car or truck
- Climb a tree or other structure
Don't exit a building during the shaking. Most earthquake injuries occur when people try to move around inside a building or try to leave. Only seek shelter in a doorway if you're sure it's load-bearing and strongly supported.
- Run outside as quickly as possible
- Stand in the nearest door frame
- Stand near an exterior wall
- Take cover under a sturdy table
The highest-risk areas are within a mile of shore and less than 25 feet above sea level, but tsunamis can produce 100-foot-tall waves and push seawater more than a mile inland, so fleeing farther is recommended.
- 1 mile; 25 feet
- 1 mile; 50 feet
- 2 miles; 50 feet
- 2 miles; 100 feet
About 60 volcanoes erupt per year on average, according to the Smithsonian Global Volcanism Program, and at least 20 are probably erupting right now.
Tornadoes are most likely between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m., especially during spring and early summer, but they can develop at any time of day.
- 3 a.m. to 9 a.m.
- 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.
The greatest potential for loss of life related to a hurricane is from the storm surge, according to FEMA, especially in places with dense populations living less than 10 feet above sea level.
- Storm surge
- Flying debris
- Falling structures
The density of water makes it much more destructive than wind. Water moving at just 10 mph can exert the same amount of pressure on a structure as wind gusts from an EF-5 tornado.
- 70 mph
- 120 mph
- 170 mph
- 270 mph
Never ration drinking water unless ordered to do so by authorities. Drink all you need today and try to find more for tomorrow, according to FEMA. Under no circumstances should you drink less than 1 quart per day.
- Ration your water to make it last longer
- Keep drinking normally, but look for more
- Supplement with soda, beer, other liquids
- Start digging down to the water table
FEMA cautions against products with added salt and other foods that make you thirsty, since they could put additional strain on water supplies.
- Peanut butter
- Salted pretzels
- Powdered milk
- Canned peaches
OUR FAVORITE STORIES
MOST POPULAR ON MNN NOW
- How 'hygge' can help you get through winter
- 11 things humans do that dogs hate
- How to give a cat a pill
- Meet 7 new endangered species on the IUCN Red List
- Ballet dancer finds her footing through dreamlike photos
- America's favorite place to go to the bathroom is at a botanical garden in Pennsylvania
- Charming animation aims to save British hedgehogs
- Why are some people colder than others?
- 5 unusual ways to keep your house warm
- We've been splitting wood all wrong