Our last blog, "How to Prepare for An Earthquake", focused on how to prepare yourself, your family and your house for an unexpected earthquake. It is extremely important to prepare yourself ahead of time, since earthquakes are unpredictable in size, timing and location. But what do you do if you find yourself suddenly in an earthquake while inside? We have outline some tips below.
The number one thing to remember is to “Drop, cover and hold on!” You want to stay put as much as possible and minimize your movement to a few steps to get to the closest “safe spot”. Once you are there, stay put and hold on until the shaking has stopped and you are sure movement is safe. If in the dark, grab a flashlight before navigating through any destruction to avoid injury.
- Find the nearest safe spot under a sturdy table or other furniture item, drop to the ground and take cover. Stay here and hold on until the shaking stops. If you cannot find cover under furniture, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch down in a corner.
- DO NOT go outside. Most injuries occur from people fleeing a building or house while the shaking is still in full force.
- Stay away from glass, windows, doors or anything else that could break or fall.
- If you are in bed: stay put and cover your head with a pillow! The only exception to this is if you are under a heavy ceiling fixture, in which case move to the closest safe spot.
- A common misconception is to go under a door frame. Do not use a doorway unless you know that it is strongly supported and is load-bearing. This is usually not the case for many doorways inside.
- Use the stairs, not the elevator.
- Be aware of electrical wires or other leaks that could have happened during the shaking.
- When the shaking stops, grab your emergency kit and get to safety.
What if you are outside when an earthquake happens? Stay tuned for our next blog to find out!