Earthquake Preparedness

An earthquake is caused by movement under the earth’s surface and can create sudden shaking that may result in dangerous conditions.

Let’s practice preparedness by knowing how to respond.

If you are inside a building, follow these DROP, COVER AND HOLD steps:

Stay where you are until the shaking stops and don’t run outside.

  • DROP down to your hands and knees so the earthquake doesn’t knock you down
  • COVER your head and neck to offer protection from any falling debris
    • If you are in danger from falling objects or windows, crawl to move safely for additional cover under a sturdy desk or table
  • HOLD on to any sturdy covering until the shaking stops
  • When the shaking stops, look all around you and if there is a clear path to safety – leave the building and move to an open space away from damaged areas (watch for falling telephone wires!)
    • If you cannot move, stay calm – if you are trapped, you can tap or knock on a wall or surrounding materials so rescuers can locate you
  • If you have a cell phone, use it to call or text for help
  • Be prepared to DROP, COVER and HOLD again in the likely event of aftershocks

If you are outdoors when the shaking starts:

  • Move away from buildings, streetlights and utility wires
  • Once in the open: DROP, COVER and HOLD on
  • If you are in a city, you may need to duck inside a building to avoid falling debris

If you are in a moving vehicle:

  • Stop as quickly as possible and stay in your vehicle
  • Avoid stopping near trees, overpasses and utility wires
  • Proceed cautiously after the earthquake has stopped, avoiding roads, ramps or bridges that may have been damaged

At both home and work, be prepared by identifying safe places in your environment where you can DROP, COVER and HOLD.

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