What to Do During and After an Earthquake

During an earthquake, and immediately after, is when your level of readiness will mean the difference in how you and the rest of your family members will fare and respond. Here are the steps you need to remember during and after an earthquake.

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During an Earthquake

If you are indoors, make sure that you take cover under a sturdy piece of furniture or against an indoor wall that is away from windows where glasses may break and injure you. Stay inside because one of the most dangerous things that you can do is try to leave while an earthquake is still happening. If you are outdoors, be certain that you are out in the open. If you are driving or currently inside a vehicle, pull over to a clear location and stay there with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops.

 

Avoid buildings, streetlights and overhead utility wires which can cause bodily harm when damaged by the quake. Do not run outside or to other rooms while the ground is still shaking. Do not stand near doorways since it will leave you unprotected from any flying or falling objects.

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After an Earthquake

After the earthquake, make sure that you are prepared for any aftershocks. Sometimes, they can be just as severe as the initial quake. If you are in a condition to help, try to assist injured persons or those who are trapped. Make sure that you check on the condition on any elderly, disabled, or children who are near your location. If there are any spilled or broken materials that can cause injury, make sure that you clean them up promptly.

Inspect your chimney and utilities for signs of damage. If you smell gas, turn it off immediately and do not use any electrical devices (including telephones). Stay away from damaged electrical lines. If possible, turn off the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If your water pipes are damaged, avoid using tap water or your toilet. At this point, you may need to rely on your emergency supplies at least until emergency assistance arrives.