If you live in an area at risk for earthquakes, there are way to prepare to reduce your chances of injury or property damage.
Preparing for earthquakes involves learning what to do before, during, and after the quake.
Learn what to do during an earthquake and practice these actions through family or workplace drills.
In each room of your home and work, identify the safest places to “drop, cover, and hold on” during an earthquake.
Assemble an emergency supply kit holding the supplies that you and your family or co-workers would need to survive without outside assistance for at least 3 days following an earthquake. (Make additional, smaller kits to keep in your car.)
List addresses, telephone numbers, and evacuation sites for all places frequented by family members (e.g., home, workplaces, schools). Include the phone number of an out-of-state contact. Ensure that family members carry a copy of this list, and include copies in your emergency supply kits.
Train in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). We are a proud provider of American Red Cross First Aid, CPR and AED Training.
Find out where you could shelter your pet should it become necessary to evacuate your home.
Ensure that family members and co-workers know how and when to call 9-1-1, how to use a fire extinguisher, and how, where, and when to shut off your utilities (water, natural gas, and electricity).
Prepare your home and workplace by securing property. Visit FEMA’s website for detailed instructions on securing your property. http://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1420417719892-b9b41636569f3c41eea88e70ddfae2e2/FEMA528.pdf
If you are inside a building: Stay where you are until the shaking stops. Do not run outside. Do not get in a doorway as this does not provide protection from falling or flying objects, and you may not be able to remain standing.
Drop down onto your hands and knees so the earthquake doesn’t knock you down.
Cover your head and neck with your arms to protect yourself from falling debris.
If you are in danger from falling objects, and you can move safely, crawl for additional cover under a sturdy desk or table.
If there is low furniture or an interior wall or corner nearby, and the path is clear, these may also provide some additional cover.
Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as light fixtures or furniture.
Hold on to any sturdy covering so you can move with it until the shaking stops. Stay where you are until the shaking stops.
If you can’t get down on the floor, identify an inside corner of the room away from windows and objects that could fall on you. The Earthquake Country Alliance advises getting as low as possible to the floor. People who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices should lock their wheels and remain seated until the shaking stops. Protect your head and neck with your arms, a pillow, a book, or whatever is available.
If you are in bed: Stay there and Cover your head and neck with a pillow. At night, hazards and debris are difficult to see and avoid; attempts to move in the dark result in more injuries than remaining in bed.
If you are outdoors: Move away from buildings, structures and utility wires. Once in the open, “Drop, Cover, and Hold On.” Stay there until the shaking stops. This might not be possible in a city, so you may need to duck inside a building to avoid falling debris.
If you are in a vehicle: If you are in a moving vehicle, stop as quickly and safely as possible and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires. Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that the earthquake may have damaged.
When the shaking stops, look around. If there is a clear path to safety, leave the building and go to an open space away from damaged areas.
If you are trapped, do not move around.
If you have a cell phone with you, use it to call for help.
Tap on a pipe or wall, whistle, or call out so that rescuers can locate you.
Once safe, monitor local news reports for emergency information and instructions.
Be prepared to “Drop, Cover, and Hold on” in the likely event of aftershocks.
Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by your state and local government. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.