What to Do During an Earthquake
Stay as safe as possible during an earthquake. Be aware that some earthquakes
are actually foreshocks and a larger earthquake might occur. Minimize your
movements to a few steps to a nearby safe place and stay indoors until
the shaking has stopped and you are sure exiting is safe.
If indoors during an earthquake,
DROP to the ground; take COVER by getting under a sturdy
table or other piece of furniture; and HOLD ON on until the shaking stops.
If there isnâ€™t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with
your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.
Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything
that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.
Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes. Hold on and
protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture
that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.
Use a doorway for shelter only if it is in close proximity to you and if you
know it is a strongly supported, loadbearing doorway.
Stay inside until shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Research has
shown that most injuries occur when people inside buildings attempt to move
to a different location inside the building or try to leave.
Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms
may turn on.
DO NOT use the elevators.
If outdoorsStay there.
Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.
Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops. The greatest danger
exists directly outside buildings, at exits, and alongside exterior walls. Many
of the 120 fatalities from the 1933 Long Beach earthquake occurred when people
ran outside of buildings only to be killed by falling debris from collapsing walls.
Ground movement during an earthquake is seldom the direct cause of death or injury.
Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling
If in a moving vehicleStop as quickly as safety permits 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 might have been damaged by the earthquake.
If trapped under debrisDo not light a match.
Do not move about or kick up dust.
Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.
Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you. Use a whistle if one is available.
Shout only as a last resort. Shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.
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