7 Ways to Prepare For an Earthquake

Hazardous materials are inherently dangerous. And if met with a natural disaster, the results can be catastrophic. That’s because any insecure disruption to their containment or storage could cause leaks, spills, and consequential exposure. California is subject to several types of catastrophic events. However, the Golden State is best known for its regular earthquakes, which are especially dangerous in terms of hazardous materials.

Earthquakes are the instance in which rock beneath the Earth’s surface breaks apart, creating seismic waves that cause the ground and everything on it to shake. Typically, those that we’ll most often experience here in California are small and result in little to no damage. However, every once in a while, an earthquake can disrupt buildings and containments of all shapes and sizes.

Earthquake wave

The cause of damage:

When the ground shakes with such intensity, the soil upon which buildings stand can liquify in a sense. This means that the ground’s densely packed particles are suddenly dispersed, causing it to lose the strength that could hold a structure upright. An earthquake will also render fault or surface ruptures as well as flooding from consequential tsunamis. And all of these damages can cause significant problems for hazardous materials.

An earthquake’s hazards could cause the potential release of hazardous materials in the following ways:

  • Overturning dangerous waste tanks and containers
  • Causing structural failures of facilities
  • The disbursement of asbestos
  • Falling shelves and other storage spaces
  • Failings in storage containers
  • Breaks in pipelines either below or above ground

Be sure to also look out for any shortages of personnel and utility damages. If you handle hazardous materials, implement the following safety hazards as to prevent any significant damage.

  • Ensure that you and your staff are educated on safety procedures and emergency protocol
  • Work with only highly trained, expert engineering and design professionals for the construction of containers and buildings
  • Make routine safety and integrity checks of your building, equipment, and storage areas and containers
  • Have an emergency plan in place and clearly communicated

If you handle hazardous materials, be sure to take particular concern for safety, especially in the event of an accident or natural disaster. And if you are faced with an emergency and require immediate assistance, we at ECTI are prepared to service your particular needs. No matter your facility, the issue you face, nor the time of day, we are here for you! Reach out today for all of your routine and emergency hazardous waste transportation needs.

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