Section (A)
How to Prepare for Earthquakes
Ideally, people would like to know when an earthquake is going to happen and how bad it will be. Inboth Japan and China, people have long believed that earthquakes can be forecast. In Japan, scientistshave wired the Earth and sea to detect movements. The Chinese have traditionally watched animalsand plants for warning signs of earthquakes. For example, the Chinese have noted that before anearthquake, hens' behavior changes — they refuse to enter their cages at night. They have also noticedthat snakes come out of the ground to freeze to death and that dogs bark a lot, even normally quietdogs. Before the Hanshin earthquake in Japan, there were reports of large schools of fish swimmingnear the surface of the water. Certain birds, like pigeons, also seemed to be especially noisy, and werereported to be flying in unusual patterns before the earthquake. Perhaps most interesting, and mosteasily measured, is a chemical change in ground water before a quake. Experimental data seem toindicate that the amount of radon (Rn) in the water under the surface of the Earth waxes before anearthquake.
People would also like to be able to prevent the great destruction of property caused by earthquakes.
After all, most of the people who die in earthquakes are killed by falling buildings. Therefore, buildingstructures that can withstand the power of earthquakes is a major concern. Steel seems to be the bestmaterial, but not if it is welded to form a rigid structure. Many new structures are built with a new typeof steel joint, an I-joint, which appears to be the most durable type of joint. These joints of steel canmove without breaking. Also, to prevent property damage, architects now design buildings so that thebuilding's columns and horizontal beams are of equal strength, and vertical support columns areinserted deep into solid soil. In addition, many new houses have relatively light roofs and strong walls.
Concrete pillars for highway bridges that previously only had steel rods inside are now enclosed in steel.
Besides working to improve building structures, people in areas where earthquakes are commonneed to prepare for the possibility of a great earthquake. They should regularly check and reinforcetheir homes, place heavy objects in low positions, attach cupboards and cabinets to walls, and fastendoors so that they will not open accidentally during an earthquake.
In addition to preparing their houses, people in these regions need to prepare themselves. Theyshould have supplies of water and food at home and at work. It is best to store several gallons of waterper person. It is also important to have something that can clean water and kill bacteria, so water fromother sources can be made safe to drink. Store one week's food for each person. Earthquake survivalsupplies include a radio receiver, a torch, extra batteries, first-aid supplies, a spade, a tent, some rope,and warm clothing. Experts also suggest the following:
Keep a fire extinguisher handy. You should have one at home, at work, and in your car (if you haveone). The fire extinguisher should be able to put out any type of fire. Have the proper tools to turn offgas and water lines if necessary. Arrange an auxiliary cooking and heating source that can be usedoutside. One alternative is a portable camp stove with small cans of gas. Keep a pair of heavy,comfortable shoes or boots in your home, at work, and in your vehicle. If there is an earthquake, therewill be lots of fragments of broken glass. Light shoes will not protect your feet as well as heavy shoeswill.
Every family needs to have earthquake emergency plans. How will family members leave the areaduring the chaos following an earthquake? Everyone should agree on a meeting point outside of thearea — perhaps in a town several miles away. Also important is an arrangement for family members tocommunicate if there is an earthquake. If an earthquake happens in a large city, many of the telephonelines within the city are likely to be down. The few remaining working lines will be busy with the callsthat naturally occur after a disaster and it will be difficult to call from one part of the city to another. Itmight, however, be possible to call outside the city. A sensible arrangement is to have all of themembers of the family call to check in with a friend or relative who lives more than a hundred milesaway.
Although scientists still cannot predict earthquakes, they are learning a great deal about how thelarge plates in the earth's crust move, the stresses between plates, how earthquakes work, and thegeneral probability that a given place will have an earthquake. Someday soon it may actually becomepossible to predict earthquakes with accuracy. However, even if prediction becomes possible, peoplewho live in areas where earthquakes are a common occurrence will still have to do their best to preventdisasters by building structures that are resistant to ground movement and by being personallyprepared. These precautions can make a great difference in saving lives and preventing the loss ofhomes. Education concerning how to survive an earthquake should be a major emphasis for allgovernment programs and earthquake-related research projects. 
Words: 890
New Words
earthquake n. 地震
detect vt. 察觉,发现;探测
hen n. 母鸡
pigeon n. 鸽子
experimental a. 实验的,用作实验的,根据实验的
◆radon n. 氡(一种由镭的衰变而产生的放射性气态元素)
wax vi. 变大,增强
n. 蜡
destruction n. 破坏,摧毁
withstand vt. 经受,承受,顶住
weld vt. 焊接
joint n. 1.接头,接缝,接合处 2.关节
a. 共有的,联合的
architect n. 建筑师,设计师
column n. 1.圆柱,石柱,碑 2.(印刷品每页上的)列,栏
horizontal a. 与地平线平行的,平的,水平的
beam n. 1.梁,横梁 2.光束,射束
vi. 1.愉快地微笑 2.发光,发热
vt. 播送(消息、电视节目等)
vertical a. 垂直的,竖的,立式的
pillar n. 1.柱子,柱状物 2.有力的支持者;栋梁
rod n. (木质或金属)杆,竿
enclose vt. 1.围住,包住 2.把……装入信封,附寄
besides prep. 除... ...之外(还有)
ad. 而且,此外
cupboard n. 食橱,橱柜
cabinet n. 1.橱柜,陈列柜 2.内阁
fasten vt. 使牢固,使固定
gallon n. (容量单位)加仑
bacterium n. 细菌;病菌
receiver n. 1.收音机,收报机,接受器 2.电话听筒
battery n. 1.电池 2.一套,一组
spade n. 铲子,锹
rope n. 绳,索
vt. 用绳捆或扎
▲extinguish vt. 1.使熄灭,扑灭 2.使(希望、爱情、感情等)破灭
extinguisher n. 灭火器
handy a. 1.手边的,近便的 2.有用的,方便的
auxiliary a. 辅助的,补助的,附加的
portable n. 轻便的,便携的,手提式的
boot n. 靴子
fragment n. 碎片,碎块,断片
v. (使)成碎片
chaos n. 混乱,无秩序
sensible a. 明智的,合情理的
crust n. 1.外壳;硬的表面 2.面包皮;糕饼等的酥皮
accuracy n. 精确(性),准确(性)
occurrence n. 1.发生的事情,事件 2.发生,出现
resistant a. 抵抗的,对抗的
precaution n. 预防,预防措施
Phrases and Expressions
watch … for 留意,观察
come out of 离开,从... ...出来
after all 应该记住,别忘了 毕竟,终究
attach sth. to sth. 把某物系在、缚在或附在另一物上
in addition (to) 加之;除... ...之外
at work 在工作的地方;在工作
put out 熄灭,扑灭
turn off 关上(电源、煤气、水等),关闭
agree on 就……达成一致意见
be busy with 忙于,忙碌
check in 登记,报到
make a difference (对某人或物)有影响/起作用
Proper Names
Hanshin 阪神(日本)