1 minute readHealth & Safety

Betcha Never Thought About Preparing for Meteors

someecards.com - Let's be emergency buddies in case more astronomical phenomena come flying at us.

Today’s news about a meteor falling in Russia, injuring hundreds of people, might be the most bizarre headline to wake up to this morning. The video below seems like something right out of an action movie- one of those end-of-the-world deals.

I’m not the paranoid type, but I do believe a whole bunch in being prepared and staying calm during emergencies. If anything, I’m glad that this strange event has given me a chance to do a little research and think through what I’d do! Here are my top three tips:

  1. Move away from those windows! It’s been reported that many of the injuries being reported were the result of windows shattering and shards cutting people nearby. This was a result of the sonic boom caused by the meteor moving into the atmosphere faster than the speed of sound (wow).
  2. Have basic first aid tips readily available. I would definitely make use of the First Aid app on my phone, which makes it possible for me to load up instructions on treating any cuts or broken bones.
  3. Move to the bottom floor of a building. Just as you should move to the bottom floor to lessen the chances of getting in the way of a tree falling on your house during a severe storm, you should also try to get out of the way of any falling debris from the meteor. I would also try to cover my head to avoid head injury. Maybe I’ll get a Space Helmet to stay on theme.

Anyway, given that another encounter with space is happening this afternoon, here’s to being prepared! Happy asteroid watching!

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  1. Keep up the good work! It is only with the help of volunteers and relief organizations that people are able to make it through disaster situations. Check out our cookbook that helps prepare the individual on how to prepare meals when the lights go out.
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  2. Left unsaid in the article is anything about advance warning. My office mates laughed at the advice but I decided to do the math.

    If I hear the boom, it’s too late to do anything but grab the first aid kit.

    If I see the flash, I have five seconds for every mile its away from me. (Sound travels about 1 mile in 5 seconds) The Russian meteor exploded about 12 miles up. If I was directly underneath, I’d have a minute to move away from windows.

    The meteor was traveling about 600 miles per second when it exploded. II i’m in it’s direct path, I may not have time to reach a lower floor. (Although, the pieces do slow down to as little as 200 mph as they fall.) A piece dropping from the point of the explosion 12 miles up could take as long as 3 or 4 seconds to reach ground.

    – The first aid kit is great advice.
    – Seeking protection from flying glass works if I see the flash.
    – Seeking protection from space debris if I see the flash won’t hurt but there’s only a few seconds. However, the odds of getting hit by space debris from something the size of the Russian meteor are infinitesimal!

  3. Bob – thanks for the comment and for your thoughts; I certainly think that you made some good points there! My approach was primarily to think about what could be logical actions for someone to take if they saw the flash and ensuing path of the meteor in the sky. This was mostly inspired by the YouTube videos I saw of people taking video of the meteor next to a window, for instance. As in most disaster cases, chances may always be small that you will be hit, but taking action as soon as you notice something out of the ordinary is also good.

    I really appreciate your thoughts on this!