What to do in the Event of an Earthquake

Before the Earthquake

  • Teach all members of your family about earthquake safety. This includes: 1) the actions you should take when an earthquake occurs, 2) the safe places in a room such as under a strong desk, along interior walls, and 3) places to avoid such as near windows, large mirrors, hanging objects, heavy furniture and fireplaces.
  • Arrange your home for safety: Store heavy objects on lower shelves and store breakable objects in cabinets with latched doors. Don’t hang heavy mirrors or pictures above areas or furniture where people frequently sit or sleep.
  • Anchor heavy appliances and furniture such as water heaters, refrigerators and bookcases.
  • Store flammable liquids away from potential ignition sources such as water heaters, stoves and furnaces.
  • Learn where the main turn-offs are for your water, gas and electricity. Know how to turn them off and the location of any needed tools.

 

During the Earthquake

  • If you are indoors, stay there. Quickly move to a safe location in the room such as under a strong desk, a strong table, or along an interior wall. Avoid taking cover near windows, large mirrors, hanging objects, heavy furniture, heavy appliances or fireplaces.
  • If you are cooking, turn off the stove and take cover.
  • If you are outdoors, move to an open area where falling objects are unlikely to strike you. Move away from buildings, power lines and trees.

 

After the Earthquake

  • Check yourself and those around you for injuries, attend to injuries if needed. Help ensure the safety of people around you.
  • Check the building you may be in for damage. If your building appears to be damaged you should leave it and not return until it has been inspected by a safety professional.
  • If you smell or hear a gas leak, get everyone outside and open windows and doors. If you can do it safely, turn off the gas at the meter. Report the leak to the fire department. Do not use any electrical appliances because a tiny spark could ignite the gas.