Why has God spared Lebanon from recurrent natural disasters? Well He probably guessed our Socio Political life will be disastrous by itself and wont need any support from mother nature…
But this hasn’t been true throughout history. Our ancestors suffered from numerous huge earth quakes such as the one in July 551 killing more than 30,000 people and causing a huge tsunami which swiped the Lebanese shores.
However, we Lebanese have zero knowledge when it comes to disaster preparedness, except for packing our Ray Bans, High Heels and enough Sushi reserve.
So we turned to Ramzi Saliba, expert on Earthquake Preparedness for a major eye opener! Below was his response:
Because 10 is too mainstream, here are the top 9 things NOT to do during or after an earthquake:
1- First, do NOT take a selfie:
When an earthquake jolts the ground below your feet and sends your adrenaline levels shooting up your spine, you have merely seconds to either take cover or run for your life. With our obsession to document every teeny tiny non-event of our existence and share it on social media #duckface, posing for a selfie while cracks appear on the wall you chose as background behind you might not be the smartest of ideas #myhouseiscrumbling #cool #imdead
2- Do NOT take cover on balconies:
While the sight of buildings swaying back and forth might make for a nice YouTube video that is likely to attract a decent number of viewers and increase your odds at limited and short-lived internet fame, the rush of adrenaline you are experiencing actually stems from the fact that the porch serving as your sanctuary and observatory has tumbled, and your figure is about to meet the asphalt introducing you to Lady Gravity and enabling you to finally grasp the difference between mass and weight. FYI, it’s P=mg.
3- Do NOT pack your bags:
This should not come as a shocker, but you’re late. Like really late. As late as the turtle was before that idiot of a rabbit went all hippies and lost the race. Unless you have a survival kit ready and waiting to be grabbed and save your life, you better run Forrest. Whatever important items you want to salvage, you should have thought about it earlier. Now is not the time to fetch your costume to recreate your own version of the Harlem Shake.
4- Do NOT use matches or a lighter:
If, after the earthquake, the electricity is crippled which is more than a safe bet and you’re swimming in a pool of dark and dust, don’t light up any matches, not even a spark, as those CGI flames you saw on Pompeii (or maybe you didn’t see, it wasn’t a good movie anyways) might turn into a scorching reality, pun intended. The sound of a hiss might give you a clue that gas is leaking and it is high time you abandon ship.
5- Do NOT use elevators:
Because if you do, it could end up like number 2, only you’ll be learning physics while stuck in a cage with no view. Use the stairs to evacuate, the exercise will work in synergy with the effects of the shock you’re experiencing and help you shed those few extra pounds you’ve been meaning to lose before swimsuit season, or holidays’ season, or your wedding.
6- Do NOT return indoors unless it’s safe:
Remember that ship you just abandoned? Don’t jump back on it because you want to salvage your PS4, Wii, or X-Box One. Aftershocks can occur after the initial jolt and cause further destruction to damaged buildings. Wait until you’re cleared to do so. However, there is hope as not every tremor is bound to bring the house down, and I don’t mean it the way David Guetta brings the house down on Beirut waterfront every summer so much he should be given the citizenship already.
7- Do NOT run towards the water:
If you haven’t heard of tsunamis after Indonesia and Japan, you must have been reading A Song of Ice and Fire and watching Game of Thrones for years on end without so much as the benefit of a toilet break. While not every earthquake generates a tsunami, seek shelter on higher ground and should any waves reach the shore, wait at least 2 hours after the last wave has hit, if any, before going back. No, you cannot swim in a tsunami, please refer to number 8.
8- Do NOT dust off your surfing board:
If you think tsunami waves are an “awesomer” bad-ass version of those creating every surfer’s dream on Hawaii’s Oahu Beach, I got news for you: You know nothing Jon Snow. Tsunamis are more like a wall of water that pushes forward and forward picking up and obliterating whatever’s laying in its path. The only thing you can surf is some footage over the web, preferably now while you still can.
9- Last but not least, do NOT remain bare-foot:
We don’t want all the rubble and glass aiming to maim whatever lower limbs they can find to be at the receiving end of every bit of profanity the panicked hordes of residents have to offer. So just in case you were cursing those long hours your significant other dragged you to the mall where she went on a shopping frenzy, those shoes she bought you might make the difference between septicemia and just a very bad day. Ladies, good on you, but try to keep the hiking shoes nearby instead of those posh high heels.
Kindly note this list is NOT exhaustive, other honorable mentions include NOT tampering with electricity, NOT sheltering near windows, the clichéd but life-saving NOT panicking, and NOT getting complacent thinking that Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham will roll in with their team of Expendables for the rescue. NOT gonna happen.
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