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(D) Earthquake Safety
Data Source: Foreign Affairs Division       

Police and Ambulance: 110 (24 hours) Fire: 119 (24 hours)
Foreign Affairs Police Station:07-2154342(24 hours)


(a) Earthquake readiness
Earthquakes hit Taiwan from time to time, especially along the east coast. However, the September 21st, 1999 (9/21) earthquake was a good reminder that a strong earthquake can strike anywhere unexpectedly. It is recommended that you pay close attention to the following guidelines:
1. Prepare some drinking water, dried and canned food, a first aid kit, a flashlight and portable radio (with spare batteries). Place them in a bag that is located in an easily accessible place for the entire family.
2. Familiarize yourself with the emergency exits in your building, and safe routes near your home. The family should agree with each other as how to make contact, and decide on a convenient place to gather in the eventuality that an earthquake occurs.
3. Schools, companies and public places should hold emergency drills on a regular basis. They should also set up volunteer groups to help, direct and encourage others.
4. Do not construct additional (illegal) floors and/or structures to your house or apartment. Do not demolish walls, pillars and columns, as this will severely weaken the structure.
5. Place heavier objects in low lying places and secure them. Try to avoid using ceiling fans and lamps.
6. Check that the electrical system in your home is in good order. Ensure that gas cylinders are not damaged in any way; get them repaired or replaced if they are. Ensure that the whole family knows how to use the gas supply safely.
(b) What to do during an earthquake
1. Remain calm as this will help you to cope with the situation more effectively. Stay with the people nearest you to protect them. Do not attempt to leave the premises.
2. Turn off the electricity and gas to avoid fire. If you are unable to do so, turn off any electrical appliances that might cause a fire; for example, an iron, a toaster, or a TV
3. Open the front door. During an earthquake the door and doorframe could buckle, rendering the door inoperative.
4. Cover your head with a pillow and find a safe place to hide; for example, under a desk, next to a corner of a wall, or a strong door frame. Stay away from windows, glass objects, ceiling fans and lights, and any other bulky furniture and dangerous objects that might hit you.
5. When on a higher floor, search for shelter where you are.
6. Do not use elevators.
7. Do not swarm into emergency exits or elevators, as this will cause congestion.
(c) Post earthquake recovery
1. Extinguish any fires, or prevent them from spreading.
2. If you smell gas, do not use any electrical devices (including light switches), and do not smoke. This is to prevent an explosion. Open all windows immediately to ventilate the premises.
3. Remove objects beside electrical wires.
4. Where possible help those in need.
5. If it is possible, call your family and friends to tell them that you are safe. Phone lines should be used for emergency calls only, not to chat.
6. Listen to the radio for updates on the earthquake and other emergency information.
7. Check all water, electricity and gas lines. If any are damaged, switch them off immediately.
8. Check for cracks and fissures; if any pillars or columns have been damaged, exit the premises immediately.

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