Skip Navigation LinksAfter-an-Earthquake

Emergency Preparedness office

After an Earthquake


  • Check yourself and family members for injuries. Do not attempt to move injured or unconscious people unless they are in immediate danger from live electrical wires, flooding or other hazards. Internal injuries may not be evident, but may be serious or life-threatening.
  • If someone has stopped breathing, call for medical or first aid assistance immediately and begin CPR if you are trained to do so. Stop a bleeding injury by applying direct pressure to the wound. 
  • If you are trapped, try to attract attention to your location.


Checking Utilities

  • If you smell gas: open windows, shut off the main gas valve, do not turn any electrical appliances or lights on or off, do not light any matches.
  • Get outside immediately and report the leak to authorities. Do not re-enter the building until a utility official says it is safe.
  • If wiring is shorting out, shut off the electric current at the main box. Do not touch downed power lines or objects in contact with downed lines. Report electrical hazards to the authorities. 
  • If water pipes are damaged, shut off the supply at the main valve. 
  • Check to see if sewage lines are intact before using bathrooms or plumbing.

Other Precautions

  • Have chimneys inspected for cracks and damage. Do not use the fireplace if the chimney has any damage.
  • Immediately clean up spilled medicines, drugs, flammable liquids and other potentially dangerous materials if it safe to do so.
  • Stay away from damaged areas. Your presence could get in the way of relief efforts, and you could put yourself in danger.
  • Help if you can. Respond to official requests for volunteer assistance from police, fire fighters, emergency management officials and relief organizations, but do not go into damaged areas unless assistance has been requested.
Page Last Updated :