What to do during an earthquake

  • Practicing and reading about what you should do during an earthquake will help you remain calm, be better prepared to protect yourself and help others. Do not panic. Earthquakes are quite survivable if you know what to do.
  • Identify safe spots in each room in your home or workplace.
  • Reinforce this knowledge by physically placing yourself in a safe location.
  • Teach your children to protect themselves. You will have the knowledge that they are safe at home or at school. They will have the knowledge that you are safe.
  • Wherever you are when the earthquake starts, take cover immediately and stay there until the shaking stops.
  • Wherever you are, expect the ground or floor to move violently. Expect the power to go off. Expect that there will be a lot of dust and debris falling. Expect aftershocks – they may occur for some time after the initial quake.
  • Take cover. If you can’t take cover, sit down in a crouched position and protect your head and face from falling debris and splintering glass. Remain in a protected place until the shaking stops.

If you are outdoors during an earthquake

Stay there. Try to move to a safe spot away from windows, buildings, overhead wires or telephone poles.

If you are in a vehicle

  • Try to pull over to a safe place.
  • Try not to block the road.
  • Park away from bridges, overpasses and buildings.
  • Stay in the vehicle.

If you are in a crowded public place

  • If you are inside, don’t run outside where you may be hit by falling debris.
  • Try to take cover where you won’t get trampled.
  • Sidewalks next to tall buildings are particularly dangerous.
  • In shopping centers, try to take cover in the nearest store.
  • Keep away from windows, skylights, and display shelves laden with heavy objects. If on a bus, stay in your seat until the bus stops.

If you are indoors during an earthquake

  • Stay there. Don’t run outside.
  • Take cover under a heavy table, desk or any solid furniture and hold on.
  • If in a hallway, crouch down against an inside wall.
  • Avoid doorways. Doors may slam shut.
  • Protect your head and face.
  • Move away from windows, glass partitions, mirrors, fireplaces, bookcases, tall furniture, light fixtures.

If at school:

  • Get under a desk or table and hold on.
  • Face away from windows.

If in a wheelchair

  • Lock the wheel. Protect neck and head.

If in a hotel:

  • Keep shoes under the bed.
  • Identify safest place to take shelter.
  • Read safety material provided in your room.
  • Note the emergency exits on your floor.
  • Do not use elevators. If you’re in an elevator during an earthquake, hit the button for every floor and get out as soon as you can.

More Info About Earthquakes