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During and After an Earthquake

  • Earthquakes come and go quickly, but when you're experiencing one it can feel like ages. Knowing what to do in the moment can make all the difference.

    Indoors During an Earthquake

    If you are indoors when an earthquake strikes, stay there. Move away from windows, skylights, doors and things that could fall. Duck, cover and hold until the shaking stops.

    Outdoors During an Earthquake

    If you are outdoors, move quickly and safely into the open away from electrical lines, trees and buildings. Drop to the ground and wait for the shaking to stop.

    Have an emergency kit in an easily accessible place.

    Driving During an Earthquake

    • Slow down and pull over as soon as possible.
    • Avoid parking under trees and power lines or near bridges.
    • Stay in the car (though it will be tempting to get out).
    • Keep infants and children in their car seats with their seatbelts on.
    • Listen to the radio, and wait for authorities to tell you it is safe to continue before driving again.
    • Speak to children in a calm, reassuring voice.
    • Take deep breaths, stretch your muscles and allow yourself time to calm.
    • Make sure everyone in the car is okay before continuing.
    • Remember to watch for debris on the road.
    After an Earthquake

    • Check for gas or water leaks and electrical shorts in and around your home, and turn off damaged utilities. Don't try to turn them back on yourself. Have the fire department or gas and electric companies turn the utilities back on when the area is secure.
    • Obey evacuation orders from local authorities, and have an evacuation plan. Be prepared for aftershocks.