Do you know what to do during an earthquake? Here is how you can plan ahead and protect yourself, your family, and your property.

Know what to do

  • Drop, cover, and hold on. Stay inside. Move under a desk or sturdy table and hold on to it. If it moves, move with it. Stay away from windows, bookcases, refrigerators, heavy mirrors, hanging plants and other objects that could fall. Do not go outside until the shaking stops.
  • If you are in a high rise building, drop, cover and hold. It is possible that the sprinklers and fire alarm may go off. Try to stay in the building on the same floor - an evacuation may not be necessary. Wait for instructions from safety personnel as they will need to differentiate between serious structural damage and damage to contents or decorative elements. Do not use elevators.
  • If you are in a crowded store or public place, do not rush for an exit. Move away from display shelves holding objects that could fall on you, and drop, cover and hold.
  • If you are in a theater or stadium, stay in your seat, protect your head with your arms or get under the seat. Do not leave until the shaking stops.
  • If you are outdoors move to a clear area away from trees, signs, buildings, or electrical wires and poles. If you are on a sidewalk near a building, move away from any possible falling brick, glass, plaster and other debris. If possible take cover, stay low, and protect your head and neck.
  • If you are in car, pull over to the side of the road as quickly and safely as possible - but do NOT pull over and stop until you are clear of bridges, overpasses, power poles, and power lines. Stay inside the vehicle until the shaking stops.
  • If you are on a sidewalk near a tall building, get into a building's doorway or lobby to protect yourself from falling bricks, glass and other debris.
  • If you are in a wheelchair, stay in it. Move to safe cover if possible, lock your wheels and protect your head with your arms.
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