How to Survive an Earthquake
Earthquake locations are unpredictable. How can you be prepared if a great quake hits your area?
Do not forget the world is one great family.... Regard Heaven as your father, Earth as your mother, and all things as your brothers and sisters.... —Shinto Saying
10 Tips on What to Do During an Earthquake
Predicting an earthquake is not reliable. They can happen almost anywhere on Earth. If you live in a known earthquake area, secure your space and prepare your home in advance of the possibility. If an earthquake takes place, here are some tips to follow to help you survive as safely as possible. And if you live along a coastline, you might also want to be alert to Tsunami preparation.
If You Are Inside
1. Drop, Cover, and Hold On
Immediately get down low and use your arms to cover your head. If the shaking is violent and rough, grab something that’s firmly attached to the structure to hold on to.
2. Hide Under Sturdy Furniture
At most, move only a few steps away. Try to take cover under a bed, a table, or another piece of heavy furniture. There may be flying debris raining down on top of you.
3. Stay Away from Windows
It is likely there will be broken glass. Stand against an inside wall rather than an wall to the outside. Doorways are actually no stronger than any other part of the structure.
4. Cover Your Head
Protect your head with a pillow, if possible. Pull out a mattress or bed pillow, or grab cushions from a couch or sofa.
5. Stay Indoors
Stay inside until the shaking has stopped. It’s not advisable to run outdoors immediately. The most common earthquake deaths occur when people run outside and get hit by falling debris from the buildings.
6. Exit by the Stairs
When the shaking stops, leave the building. Use the stairs. Do not try to take an elevator.
If You Are Already Outside
7. Move to an Open Area
If you are in a crowd of people, try to move to a more open area. Stay away from buildings, power lines, and trees.
8. Drop to the Ground
Don’t try to walk or run. Get down on the ground and cover your head with your arms.
9. Stay Inside a Car
If you are driving when the shaking starts, SLOW DOWN and drive to a clear place, if possible. Turn off the engine and set the parking brakes. Stay inside the car until the shaking stops.
10. Beware of Aftershocks
Be prepared for aftershocks. There is potential for violent aftershocks following the initial earthquake. Get to a safe area, stay there, and follow directions of emergency personnel.
You cannot predict where or when a quake will happen. But you can try to quake-proof your home. Have a disaster plan ready and be sure all family members know what to do, such as where to meet afterwards. And don’t forget to make a plan for your pets. Frightened animals may bite or scratch. If you are unable to hold or locate your pets, post a note nearby as to where to contact you if someone finds your pet.
Did you find this Simple10s article about Earthquake Survival helpful? You might also want to read these articles about How to Prepare for a Tsunami and Surviving a Landslide.