Skip Navigation LinksWhat-to-do-during-an-Earthquake

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If you are indoors during an earthquake:

  • DROP to the ground, take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture, and HOLD ON until the shaking stops. If there isn't a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in a doorway or an inside corner of the building.
  • Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could shatter or fall on you, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.
  • If you are in bed, stay there and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.
  • Do not use a doorway unless you know it is a strongly supported, load-bearing doorway. Many inside doorways are lightly constructed and do not offer protection.
  • Do not leave a building during the shaking. Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Most injuries occur when people inside buildings attempt to leave/get outside.
  • DO NOT use the elevators – if the electricity goes out you could be trapped.
  • Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.

If you are outdoors during an earthquake:

  • Stay outside and move away from buildings. The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings, at exits and alongside exterior walls.
  • Stay away from streetlights and utility wires.
  • Once in the open, lay flat on the ground and stay there until the shaking stops.

If you are driving:

  • Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.
  • Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that might have been damaged by the earthquake.

If you are trapped under debris:

  • Do not light a match.
  • Do not move around or kick up dust.
  • Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.
  • Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you. Use a whistle if one is available. Shout only as a last resort. Shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.
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