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Things to Consider During & After an Earthquake


In the event of an earthquake:


  • If you need to evacuate, use stairs, not elevators.
  • Drop to the floor, get under a sturdy table, and hold on until the shaking stops.
  • If indoors, stay there; most injuries occur when people inside try to move to a different location or try to leave.
  • If outside, get into an open area. Stay clear of buildings, power lines, streetlights, and anything that can fall on you
  • If driving, move out of traffic as quickly as possible and shut off the engine. Avoid bridges and overpasses, and anything that could fall onto your cars, such as trees, light posts, powerlines, and signs.


  • Follow the instructions of civil defense officials and other authorities.
  • Go to your predetermined outdoor meeting location. Assess any possible injuries to others and provide assistance if possible.
  • Check the condition of your dwelling. If you consider it unsafe, notify the authorities and go to a temporary shelter, or stay with acquaintances or family members.
  • Be careful with electrical currents, propane/natural gas lines, and sources of chemical hazards.
  • Be prepared for aftershocks. Aftershocks can occur minutes, days, or months after an earthquake. Hold on each time shaking occurs.
  • If you are trapped, use whatever communication you have in order to get the attention of rescuers.
  • If you are near an ocean, find out about the tsunami evacuation plans in your area.