The recent earthquake in Ridgecrest, California, has brought up the big question: “When will the next one hit?” Well, we can’t predict earthquakes, but we can be prepared for what to do when one hits.
If you have been a California native long enough you know all the tricks when you’re indoors during an earthquake get under something, whether it’s a desk, table, or even a mattress over the top of you. But what do you do if you’re out camping or hiking?
Falling debris such as power lines and buildings cause most injuries and deaths related to earthquakes outside of the safety of a building, however, natural areas carry their own risks.
Large earthquakes can cause subsequent disasters such as avalanches, landslides or in coastal regions even tsunamis. While its impossible to predict the time and place an earthquake will occur, there are certain regions more prone to the earth-shaking disasters and knowing is half the battle.
If an earthquake strikes while you’re traveling the backcountry, find an open space and stay away from rocks and trees that could fall during the quake.
Landslides and avalanches are rather difficult to evade, but if the earth starts to shake moving left to right in lateral movements will increase your chances of survival.
Never try to run downhill from a landslide or avalanche as the flow from either can reach blistering speeds of over 80 mph.
As with anything being outdoors always carries a risk and the more you know and how to act in situations can mean the difference between life and death.