You are here: Home > Complete Preparedness Library > Natural Disasters and Bad Weather > Earthquakes > What to do During an Earthquake
What to do During an Earthquake
 

Regardless of where you are during an earthquake, seek shelter immediately.  Go to a safe location nearby and remain there until the shaking stops.

 

If You Are Indoors, Remember: Take Cover and Hold On
  • Stay indoors 
  • Take cover under heavy furniture such as a table, desk, bed, or any other solid piece of furniture.
  • Hold on to the object you’re using as cover so that you stay protected.
  • If there is no available furniture for you to use, or if you are in a hallway, place yourself in a squatting position alongside an inner wall.
  • If you are in a mall, enter the nearest store.  Keep away from windows and shelves holding heavy objects.
  • If you are in school, take cover under a table or desk and hold on.  Keep your back to the windows, not your head.
  • If you are in a wheelchair, lock the wheels to prevent your head and neck from whiplash.

If You Are Outdoors
  • Stay outdoors. 
  • Find an open area away from buildings.
  • If you are in a crowded public place, take cover somewhere that you will not be trampled.

If You Are Driving
  • Look for a safe place to stop where you are not blocking the roads.  Leave roads open for emergency and rescue vehicles.
  • Avoid bridges, overpasses, underpasses, and streets lined with buildings that could collapse.
  • Stop and stay inside the car.
  • Listen to the radio for instructions from emergency service operations.
  • Under no circumstance should you exit your car if a power line has fallen on it.  Wait for emergency or rescue teams to help you.
  • If you need help, indicate that using a sign marked with “SOS” or “HELP” in large letters.
  • If you are in a bus, stay seated until the bus stops moving.  Take cover in a protected area.  If this is not possible, squat in your seat and cover your head with your hands.
What To Avoid During an Earthquake
  • Doors: they can fall back on you and harm you.
  • Windows, bookshelves, tall furniture, and light fixtures; you can be injured by the broken glass or heavy objects. 
  •  Elevators: if you are in an elevator during an earthquake, press the buttons for every floor and exit the elevator as soon as you can.
  • Fallen power lines: stay at least ten meters away in order to avoid injury.
  • Shores: earthquakes can cause significant waves in the ocean called tsunamis (also known as tidal waves).

New Emergency Articles GET PREPARED - PREPARE FOR A STORM SURGE