Earthquakes or tremors are not common in South Africa but the 3'5 magnitude earthquake in Oudtshoorn earlier last week highlights the importance and value of ensuring your own safety and the safety of those you love. Santam's experts recommend the following guidelines in the event of an earthquake, severe tremor, no matter where you are.
Always stay calm and kneel or sit on the floor. When you are in this position, it protects you from falling and allows you to move around if necessary;
Try to crawl under a large, sturdy object such as a strong table or desk to avoid being struck by falling debris from the roof, ceiling or walls.
Stay away from windows, mirrors or loose standing cupboards as this might fall on you in the event of a tremor;
Try to use the stairs to evacuate from a building and not the lift. Only evacuate when you are sure it is safe to do to;
If you're outdoors
Move away from exterior walls of buildings to avoid being struck by falling debris from collapsing walls, windows and roof tiles/sheeting;
Stay far away from power cables, trees and structures that could collapse and fall on top of you; and
Kneel and cover your head and neck with your arms and hands until the tremors/shaking stops.
If you're driving
Stop your vehicle as quickly and as safely as possible;
Do not stop next to large buildings, trees, under bridges or overhead power lines; and
Only get out of your vehicle when you are sure it is safe to do so.
If you're trapped
Stay calm and try not to disturb unstable structures that could collapse; and
If possible, shout or tap on a pipe or wall where rescuers can locate you.
Did you know?
Santam's standard personal and commercial lines insurance policies provide full cover for earthquake damage.