Earthquake is such a devastating menace that cannot be predicted or can be avoided. Living in an earthquake prone area, we can only minimize the casualties caused a sudden earthquake, that includes the damage of your house, public properties and injuries to your close ones. This you can only achieve, if you are prepared beforehand to face seismic tremours.
The two basic types of earthquakes range from small to moderate tremours and large seismic jerks. The small quakes last for a few seconds, posing little to no emergency threat. Whereas the large ones last for several minutes and can cause heavy damage to personal and public properties, even cause death.
Preparation for earthquake mainly involves two aspects:
- What we should do prior to, during and after earthquakes
Measures to take prior to the earthquake:
- Ensure that your house plan is approved to endure a sudden seismic jerk.
- Choose building materials, such as the TMT bars, concrete mixture etc., that are resilient to the seismic force.
- Improve the earthquake resilience of your house by fastening the heavy furniture to the ground and putting anti-shatter coatings on glass windows.
- Secure all the prized possessions.
- Get some disaster training and involve your community in it.
During the earthquake:
- First and foremost, you must stay calm and decide how to handle the situation.
- If you are indoors, stand against the wall that is near the center of the building or hide beneath some heavy furniture.
- Use stairs instead of elevators.
- If you are outside, try to gather in an open ground.
- Stay away from anything that could ignite a spark or can fall apart.
- Stay away from beaches.
After the earthquake:
- Check if anyone of you is injured. Provide medical attention to whoever needs it.
- Check the electrical, gas, water lines and stay away from damaged buildings and broken glass panels.
- If you are at office or school, try and follow the emergency evacuation procedure.
- How we should prepare ourselves before the next earthquake
The best way you could prepare yourself before the next earthquake is to strengthen your house structure.
- You must verify whether the area you live in fall under the seismic zone, if yes then under which category, seismic zone 5, 4, 3 and 2.
- In any case, it is mandatory to get the Structural Safety Certificate.
- The design, build and the base structure of your house must be strong and resistant to earthquake.
Any RCC (Reinforced Cement Concrete) structure, at its base is reinforced through steel TMT bars. As concrete alone fails to put up with the tensile load, it has to be reinforced through steel rebar to endure external pressure and forces to a certain level.
To ensure that your house is resistant to seismic jerks, it must have the following qualities:
- Good ductility to deform & absorb energy
- Slightest specified lateral strength
- Good seismic structural configuration
- Adequate lateral rigidity
Superior UTS/YS (Ultimate Tensile Strength/Yield Strength) ratio determines the earthquake resistant properties of a TMT bar. The fundamental conditions are also specified in the BBS (Bar Bending Schedule) that includes details associated with the dimension, shape and size of steel TMT bars. Higher ductility and excellent seismic resistance help in reducing the human casualties and structural damage.
Moreover, you must take professional help from the industry experts such as:
- The civil engineer and architect, who will plan the design compatible to the seismicity of that area.
- Material engineer and construction supervisor, as they are the ideal persons to suggest you the best building materials perfectly suitable for your house.
- And of course, you can always rely on an experienced home maker to guide you through the details of the entire construction procedures.
Your smart thought process, updated knowledge base and proper guidance of the experts can help you build a stronger and safer home resilient to earthquakes.