No matter where you are, earthquake preparedness is always a good idea. An earthquake can happen anytime, and usually comes without warning. By preparing yourself, your family and your employees before an earthquake happens, you can minimize the risk of injury and damage to your property.

What to do BEFORE an earthquake strikes:

Having a plan and safety guide in place when this happens is one of the best things you can do to ensure your family and coworkers are protected if seismic activity occurs.

  • Be informed by receiving alerts, warnings, and public safety information before, during, and after emergencies. To receive earthquake warnings, you can download the MyShake App.
  • Identify safe spots to take cover in your home, office, or school.
  • Practice how to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On;” and participate in the Great Northeast Shakeouteach October.
  • Create and evacuation plan – you and your loved ones may need to evacuate a damaged area afterward. By planning and practicing for evacuation, you will be better prepared to respond appropriately and efficiently to signs of danger.
  • Assemble an emergency kit – stock up on emergency supplies such as water, food, a first aid kit and keep sturdy shoes under your bed.  You should also store important documents (like medical documents, birth certificates, and passports) in a secure location like a fireproof or waterproof safe.
  • Prepare your home for possible emergencies by fastening bookcases, hutches, and freestanding shelving to walls.
  • Make a record of your personal property by taking photos/videos of your belongings. Store these records in a safe place.

What to do DURING an earthquake:

During an earthquake, you may hear a roaring sound that gradually gets louder. You may also feel a rolling sensation that starts out gently and, within a second or two, grows violent or you may be jarred by a violent jolt. Then, you may feel shaking and find it difficult to stand up or move from one room to another.

If You Are Inside

  • Stay inside – DO NOT run outside or to other rooms during an earthquake. You are less likely to be injured if you stay where you are.
  • Do not get in a doorway — this does not provide protection from falling or flying objects, and you might not be able to remain standing. You are safer under a table.
  • Drop, Cover, and Hold On
    • Drop down to the ground so the earthquake doesn’t knock you down.
    • Cover your head and neck with your arms to protect you from falling debris. If possible, crawl under a sturdy desk, table or other piece of furniture for additional protection. Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and other items that could fall. Hide underneath your covers with a pillow over your head if you are already in bed.
    • Hold on to any sturdy item you can until the shaking stops.

If You Are Outside

  • Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.

If You Are in a Vehicle

  • Pull to the side of the road and stay inside until the earthquake is over. Do not stop under overpasses or power lines.

What to do AFTER an earthquake:

  • Continue to monitor media for emergency information and follow instructions from public safety officials.
  • Call 9-1-1 to report emergencies including downed power lines and gas leaks – stay away from downed utility wires. Always assume a downed power line is live.
  • Call 2-1-1 to obtain shelter locations and other disaster information.
  • Check your home for damage:
    • If you believe there is a gas leak, go outdoors immediately, and do not turn electrical switches or appliances on or off.
    • Check chimneys for visual damage and have a professional inspect the chimney for internal damage before lighting a fire.
    • If your home or property is damaged, take photos or videos to document your damage, and contact your insurance company.
  • Stay out of damaged buildings and areas until authorities deem them safe.
  • Be a good friend. Check on family, friends, and neighbors, especially the elderly, those who live alone, those with medical conditions, and those who may need additional assistance.

International ShakeOut Day is always the third Thursday of October this year it is October 21. While COVID-19 has brought many uncertainties and challenges, one thing’s for sure: ShakeOut is still happening this year! Hold your #ShakeOut drill with some friends and family and practice your earthquake safety tips.


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