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Earthquake Guidance

Before
  • Make an emergency plan outlining communication and supply needs.
  • Secure heavy items in the home, office, and classroom, such as bookcases, refrigerators, water heaters, televisions, and objects on the wall. Store heavy and breakable objects on low shelves.
  • Become familiar with evacuation routes.
During
  • Drop (or Lock)
    • Dropping to the hands and knees while holding onto something sturdy can be a safe option. For individuals using a wheelchair or walker with a seat, lock the wheels and remain seated until the shaking stops.
  • Cover
    • Cover the head and neck area, or crawl underneath something sturdy for shelter. In areas indoors without shelter options, the safest location is next to an interior wall and away from windows. Remaining on the hands and knees while crawling to a safer location helps to protect vital organs.
  • Hold On
    • If under a table or desk, hold on with one hand and be ready to move with it if it moves. If seated and unable to drop to the floor, bend forward and protect the head and neck using bent arms and hands.
After
  • Evacuate damaged buildings when it is safe to do so.
  • If trapped, send a text or bang on a pipe or wall. 

More Tips for Earthquake Safety

Be cautious of your surroundings. Serious hazards can occur after an earthquake, including building damage, leaking water or gas lines, and/or downed power lines.

  • Stay Calm. Do not attempt to telephone family or to travel until the emergency is officially declared to be over. Be prepared for aftershocks.
  • Your greatest threat is from falling objects, electrical power lines, and gas lines. Get out from under it, away from it, or go around it.
  • Turn off space heaters after the earthquake. Do not light matches or similar devices.
  • If outdoors, move quickly away from buildings, trees, bridges, utility poles, electrical power lines, gas meters or lines, and heavy machinery or equipment.
  • Never use an elevator in a fire or earthquake.  Electric power is likely to fail in both cases, leaving you trapped.