In The Event of an Earthquake:
When an earthquake occurs, the ground will shake perceptibly for a relatively short time, perhaps only a few seconds, or for as much as a minute during a significant earthquake.
Suggested Precautions to Take During the Earthquake:
- Try to remain calm and reassure others.
- If you are indoors, move immediately to a safe place. Get under a desk, table, or workbench if possible. Stand in an interior doorway, or in the corner of a room. Watch out for falling debris or tall furniture. Stay away from windows and heavy objects (such as refrigerators and machinery) that may topple or slide across the floor.
- Do not dash for exits since stairways may be broken and jammed with people. Power for elevators may fail and stop operating. Seek safety where you are at the time of the incident, and then leave calmly if evacuation is necessary.
- If you are outdoors, try to get into an open area, away from buildings and power lines.
- Do not be surprised if you feel more than one shock. After the first motion is felt, there may be a temporary decrease in the motion followed by another shock. (This phenomenon is merely the arrival of different seismic waves from the same earthquake.) Also, aftershocks may occur several minutes, several hours, or even several days afterwards. Sometimes aftershocks will further damage structures that were already weakened by the main earthquake.
Suggested Precautions to be Taken After the Earthquake:
- When the shaking stops, there may be considerable damage, and people could be injured. It is especially important that everyone remain calm and begin the task of taking care of one another. The first concern is for those who are hurt, and the next concern is to prevent fires from occurring. After that, damage can be assessed and remedial measures will follow.
- Remain calm and take time to assess your situation.
- Help anyone who is hurt, and administer emergency first aid when necessary. Cover injured persons with blankets to keep them warm. Seek medical help for those who need it.
- Check for fires and fire hazards. Put out fires immediately if you can.
- Check for damage to utilities and appliances. Shut off electricity if there is any chance of damage to wiring.
- Shut off water valves if breakage has occurred. In due time, report utility damage to the utility companies, and follow their instructions if given.
- Do not light matches, use any open flames, or turn on electrical switches or appliances until you are certain there are no combustible flames.
- Do not touch power lines, electric wiring, or objects in contact with them.
- Clean up and warn others of any spilled materials that are dangerous, such as chemicals, gasoline, etc.
- Be prepared to experience aftershocks. They often do additional damage to buildings weakened by the main shock.
- Use great caution when entering or moving about in a damaged building. Collapses can occur without much warning, and there may be dangers from electrical wiring, broken glass, etc.
There are no rules that can eliminate all earthquake danger. However, damage and injury can be reduced by following these procedures.