During an Earthquake
When you feel an earthquake, duck under a desk or sturdy table. Stay away from windows, bookcases, file cabinets, heavy mirrors, hanging plants, and other heavy objects that could fall. Watch out for falling plaster and ceiling tiles. Stay under cover until the shaking stops, and hold onto your cover. If it moves, move with it. Below are some additional tips for specific locations:
- If you are in a HIGH-RISE BUILDING, and not near a desk or table, move against an interior wall and protect your head with your arms. Do not use the elevators. Do not be surprised if the alarm or sprinkler systems come on. Stay indoors. Glass windows can dislodge during the quake and sail for hundreds of feet.
If you're OUTDOORS, move to a clear area away from trees, signs, buildings, electrical wires, and poles.
- If you're on a SIDEWALK NEAR BUILDINGS, duck into a doorway to protect yourself from falling bricks, glass, plaster, and other debris.
- If you're DRIVING, pull over to the side of the road and stop. Avoid overpasses, power lines, and other hazards. Stay inside the vehicle until the shaking is over.
If you're in a CROWDED STORE OR OTHER PUBLIC PLACE, do not rush for exits. Move away from display shelves containing objects that could fall.
- If you're in a WHEELCHAIR, stay in it. Move to cover, if possible, lock your wheels, and protect your head with your arms.
- If you're in the KITCHEN, move away from the refrigerator, stove, and overhead cupboards. (Take time NOW to anchor appliances, and install security latches on cupboard doors to reduce hazards.)
- If you're in a STADIUM OR THEATER, stay in your seat and protect your head with your arms. Do not try to leave until the shaking is over, then leave in a calm, orderly manner. Avoid rushing toward exits.
After the Earthquake Checklist
- Be prepared for aftershocks, and plan where you will take cover when they occur.
- Check for injuries. Give first aid, as necessary.
- Remain calm and reassure others.
- Avoid broken glass.
- Check for fire. Take appropriate actions and precautions.
- Check gas, water, and electric lines. If damaged, shut off service. If gas is leaking, don't use matches, flashlights, appliances, or electric switches. Open windows, leave building, and report to gas company.
- Replace all telephone receivers, and use for emergency calls only.
- Tune to the emergency broadcast station on radio or television. Listen for emergency bulletins.
- Stay out of damaged buildings.