Most people aren’t familiar with earthquake protocol, which can mean that total panic ensues. Educate yourself about what to do if you feel the earth start to shake, so that you can be as safe as possible.
Have Control Over Yourself
Sudden and dramatic movement of the ground beneath you is very disorienting, to say the least. Try to remain calm in order to be able to think clearly. Be aware of the type of building you are in, where you are located in it and where the general way out is. Take immediate action, even if the tremors cease.
Find Sturdy Cover If You Are Inside During An Earthquake
Don’t try running outside, despite the natural inclination to flee. Instead, look for something solid to crawl under, like a metal desk, a table or even a doorway if that’s all there is available. Get low to the floor and place your arms over your head and face for protection. If there is no furniture in your vicinity and you are in a tall building such as a skyscraper, get to the inner walls as quickly as you can. Remember to protect your head with your arms and crouch to avoid falling debris.
Head For Clear Ground When Outdoors
If you are caught in an earthquake while you are outside, get as far away from structures and trees as you can. Don’t assume it’s safe to seek shelter under a mighty oak either, as the ground opening up can easily tear the roots up on the sturdiest of trees. Beware of falling glass from any building, as this is a leading cause of harm. Run as fast as possible away from them without giving a thought to any personal belongings. Until you are out of the danger zone, your only concern should be that of your personal safety and of anyone with you.
If You Are In Your Car When It Strikes
An earthquake may fell like a large truck passing close by when you are in your vehicle. If you suspect an earthquake, safely slow down until you can make a more accurate assessment of the situation. Once your suspicions are confirmed, pull over, but avoid doing so near any telephone poles or power lines. Also, in the event that you are located on any kind of overpass or bridge, drive off of it to solid ground immediately. Park in a clearing if you can and turn the car’s radio on to get an update on what’s going on.
Shopping Malls, Restaurants And Movie Theaters
You could be anywhere when an earthquake occurs, but the logic behind your response is basically the same no matter what your location. Crouch down to protect yourself while covering your head underneath something that can absorb the impact of falling debris. Remember that even during a minor earthquake, items will fall from shelves that can seriously hurt you. Fixtures may also fall right out of the ceiling. While it may be difficult to fight your urge to vacate the building, seeking instant cover is your best course of action.
When It’s Over
You’ve probably heard of after shocks and know that they can be just as life-threatening as an earthquake itself. Because of this, it’s essential that you quickly analyze your situation and position and relocate to a safer location at once. Since damage has already been done to buildings, trees and other surroundings, the slightest vibration could cause catastrophe. Follow the instructions of emergency response professionals or get on your phone with 911. Do not assume you are safe simply because the earthquake appears to have subside; take every precaution for yourself and others until there is no doubt at all.
Earthquakes come in all sizes and strengths. Depending on where you happen to be, the instantaneous decisions you make may very well save your life or the lives of others. Know what to do well in advance and remember to keep your cool.