During an Earthquake

Drop, cover and hold on.  

  • Drop means get close to the floor because you will be more stable there. 
  • Cover means get under something hard (tables are good) and if you can not, then at least cover your head with your hands.  The biggest concern is not the building completely collapsing on top of you but fixtures, equipment, tall furniture and debris falling and hitting you in the head. 
  • Hold on refers to the fact that, depending on the size and duration of the quake it could be a bumpy ride, so you should hold on until the shaking stops.  Wait until the ground stops shaking.

Remember aftershocks are likely and often cause considerable damage.

If inside, keep away from overhead fixtures, windows, filing cabinets, and bookcases.

Assist any persons with disabilities in the area and locate a safe place for them.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson helps explain "Drop, Cover, and Hold".

After an Earthquake

Shake, look and listen.  Then evacuate carefully to someplace safe.
  • Shake refers to shaking off the debris, shaking off the adrenalin and fear, and assessing if you have any injuries. 
  • Look refers to check your surroundings for an immediate hazard (electrical wires that are exposed, fires that coould be starting). 
  • Listen refers to listen for other people calling for help, giving directions or for sirens and such which could give you information that will help you decide on your next step.

Call out: “Is everyone OK?”

Follow all instructions given by building monitors, Public Safety personnel, or other authority.

Do not use telephones unnecessarily.  Telephone networks may be temporarily disabled. Often, even when the telephones can not get through, text messages can. 

Before an Earthquake

Consider investing in a small bag or backpack and loading it with supplies you might need in a disaster to help you survive the first few hours or days.  Contents such as water or filtration bottles (campers use these too), prescription medication, first aid supplies, feminine supplies, a change of clothes, space blankets, emergency lighting... the list can be as long or as short as you want.  You may want to consult the internet where there are hundreds of versions of lists you can use.  Here's a good one: Ready List