As in Haiti, So in Chile

Epicenter of Chile Earthquake 2010

Epicenter of Chile Earthquake

There are interesting comparisons between the Haitian earthquake and the recent Chilean earthquake. First, here are some facts.

The Chile earthquake was 500 times stronger than the one in Haiti, but was 22 miles underground and spread over a predominately agricultural area.

The Haiti earthquake was shallower at only 6 miles underground and was much closer to populated areas.

Since 1977, emergency managers in Chile have been overseeing earthquake drills three times a year in the schools. All school children, as well as private and public sector employees, are taught to drop to the ground, get under a heavy desk, table, door frame or sit next to a bearing wall, cover your eyes and head with your arms and hold on until the shaking stops. It’s simple emergency preparedness techniques like these that ensure protection of life.

Haiti on the other hand had none of these things. No preparedness initiatives, no money, little education and lack of a full-functioning society. There were large losses of lives, property, infrastructure and government.

When emergencies happen, there will still be loss of life and property, as well as injuries. However, how countries prepare, respond, and recover will determine survivability.

Even with the differences in preparedness between the two countries, we still see that crowd behavior is identical in the aftermath. When people got hungry enough, and thirsty enough, things started to happen. Looting became rampant.

It just goes to show that people will always be desperate for food and water in a widescale disaster. Learn this lesson from Haiti and Chile. Control your family’s destiny by storing some food and water ahead of time.


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