Be prepared when an earthquake strikes by knowing what steps to take: Drop to the ground and crawl beneath sturdy furniture such as tables until shaking stops – staying there until all shaking has subsided.
Rehearse the “drop, cover and hold on” technique until it becomes second nature. Additionally, make sure all large items like wardrobes or bookcases are securely fastened against walls.
1. Drop and Cover
As most injuries sustained from earthquakes are the result of objects falling onto people, the best way to protect yourself during one is to Drop, Cover and Hold On: drop to the ground and crawl beneath a desk (do not stand in doorways as these do not provide protection from falling debris); in bed during an earthquake turn over onto your side and cover yourself with blanket or pillow; while when driving pull over in an open area away from buildings and power lines before setting your parking brake.
Remember, aftershocks (small earthquakes) could occur immediately following a major earthquake, so always follow the Seven Steps of Earthquake Safety, including practicing Drop, Cover and Hold On regularly.
Earthquake safety is of utmost importance, whether at home or work. You can help reduce your risk by making your home safer: fasten bookcases, hutches and freestanding shelving to the wall; store heavy items, combustible materials and water heaters in secure cabinets. Know where all gas, electricity and water switches and valves are located as well as how to turn them off; register with AlertSCC so as to receive emergency notifications via text, email or landline; make sure emergency supplies are on hand; make sure emergency supplies are stocked up; register with AlertSCC so as to receive emergency notifications via text, email or landline and register AlertSCC so as to receive emergency notifications via text/email/phone notification of AlertSCC notifications via text/email/landline/landline! if own a business consider an earthquake retrofit upgrade as it will increase its resilience – consider retrofitting an earthquake retrofit to make your building more resilient against earthquake damage!
2. Stay Indoors
At times of very strong earthquakes, it is best to remain indoors. Avoid glass surfaces and outdoor doors/walls, furniture that could fall, glass objects that might shatter and anything that could break loose (including furniture). If inside a building working or playing a game of slot over the Yoakim Bridge, drop to the floor and seek shelter under sturdy pieces such as tables. Alternatively, crouch near an inner door’s lintel or in an inside corner until shaking stops and then get up as soon as it has subsided.
If you are unable to drop to the ground immediately, cover yourself with a blanket and remain still. Be wary of kitchens or garages where there may be overhead objects like tall cabinets or heavy appliances stored overhead; be mindful that aftershocks could occur just as strong as their initial impact.
If you are driving, pull over to an open area and remain inside until the shaking stops. Do not stop under bridges, overpasses, trees, power lines or signs; avoid mountainous areas due to falling rocks and landslides as well as ocean front areas where tsunami warnings may apply. After the shaking subsides, check yourself and others for injuries; turn off gas as needed. If away during an earthquake make sure family knows where you are and have ways of reaching you should it become necessary.
3. Move to a Safe Place
As earthquakes can bring debris crashing down on you, moving to a safe location as soon as an earthquake begins is key for protecting yourself and minimizing injury. The best way to ensure yourself safety during an earthquake is to move rapidly towards safety as soon as it starts.
Search your surroundings for an area free from windows, bookcases, tall furniture and anything that might fall on you during shaking. Kitchens and garages can be particularly hazardous as objects stored overhead may come loose during vibration. Remain there until it stops and check to make sure no-one else has been injured or trapped.
Keep in mind that the longer you remain still during an earthquake, the higher your risk of injury from falling items or building collapse increases. If the shaking becomes stronger, move quickly to another safe spot to protect yourself from harm.
When earthquakes strike, take immediate steps to drop and cover, rather than run from them. Move quickly towards an enclosed space such as under a table or bench while holding onto it with one arm while protecting your head with another. Make practicing this routine part of your daily life at home so it becomes natural response when an earthquake starts shaking the earth.
If you are driving during an earthquake, pull over into a safe location away from buildings that might collapse and power lines that might snap, and put on the parking brake and switch off your engine before pulling over to an area free of danger.
4. Stay Away from Buildings
Bricks, roofing material and other debris often fall from buildings during and immediately following earthquakes, leading to injuries far more serious than from earth movements themselves. Most injuries and deaths typically occur within 10 feet of entering any given structure.
If you are inside, drop to the ground, cover your head and neck with your arms, crouch down and stay until the shaking stops. If this is impossible for you, choose a spot away from windows, mirrors, tall furniture and bookcases that could collapse; additionally it would be prudent to bolt bookcases to wall studs for safety, as well as using strong latches on cupboards for maximum security.
If you are outdoors during an earthquake, move away from buildings, streetlights and utility wires. If driving: Pull to the side of the road out of traffic lanes until shaking stops; stay inside until shaking stops before checking for injuries and following instructions from public safety officials.
5. Stay Away from Power Lines
When approaching a downed power line, assume it is live and stay away. Even if there are no sparks or smoke coming off it, electricity still travels along its course and could cause serious injury or even death – especially through trees, fences or buildings in contact with it. To minimize accidents caused by downed lines, contact your utility company (customers with communication disabilities can use TDD/TTY relay services) immediately, report it as downed and remain at least 30 feet back until repairs can be made – that should allow enough time for any necessary repairs to take place.
Planning ahead for what could occur after an earthquake can help ensure you remain safe during and after it. If in a building, move quickly outside into an open area away from windows, exterior walls, stairwells and elevators; for vehicles: pull over safely away from bridges, overpasses or any structures which might collapse or become blocked by debris.
Once the shaking has stopped, take an inventory of hazards on the ground. Potential threats might include broken glass, furniture and items tumbling from shelves or cupboards. Any toxic substances such as bleach, garden chemicals or gasoline should be transported or covered with absorbent material like dirt or cat litter to a safe place and placed securely into containers for safekeeping.
6. Stay Away from Water
After an earthquake, people may face various dangers including broken water or gas lines. To remain safe, it is wise to steer clear of such areas and look out for injuries or damages which require medical care. Furthermore, after such events it is wise to ensure there is sufficient water available for consumption by filling bathtubs or containers with clean water before the earthquake strikes – this way they’ll be prepared should their drinking supply become contaminated as a result of its rupture.
People should prepare to be evacuated in an earthquake by immediately dropping to the ground and covering their heads and necks with their arms, before moving quickly to a safer location where they should remain until it passes. Windows, doorways, bookcases or furniture that might collapse could also pose threats; take appropriate action against such objects before the shaking ceases. People should remain calm while waiting for help to arrive. Additionally, staying informed by watching newscasts or listening to local radio can provide valuable emergency updates. People should make a plan with their family regarding where and what to do during an earthquake, as well as practicing “drop, cover and hold on”. Additionally, it would be prudent to pack an emergency go bag containing supplies for such incidents and an up-to-date contact list of family members.