For the experienced prepper, an earthquake is probably one of the most basic events to prepare for. In fact, your level of preparedness for any tragedy might be so high that you’re all geared up for the apocalypse with a systematic plan in mind. You know where to bug out and you’re skilled enough to survive in the woods by hunting and fishing when SHTF. So what makes you think you won’t survive an earthquake, right?
Drop, cover, hold. Sure, it sounds easy. But don’t take it lightly. Earthquakes may happen anytime and anywhere without warning. It can be a little shake or a monstrous one that will make a building collapse in just a few seconds. It can leave you with nothing, not even your family and friends. Here are a number of things you should do to stay safe during an earthquake.
If You are Indoors During an Earthquake…
- Drop to the ground, take cover by getting under a sturdy table, and hold on until the shaking stops. If there isn’t a table near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in the corner of the room. Remember that trying to move during the shaking can put you at risk. So it’s best to drop before the earthquake drops you! The ONLY exception to the “Drop, Cover and Hold On” rule is if you are in a country with unengineered construction, and if you are on the ground floor of an unreinforced mud-brick building, with a heavy ceiling. In that case, you should try to move quickly outside to open space.
- Stay away from glass and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.
- Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall
- Stay inside until the shaking stops. Research shows that most injuries happen when people try to move during an earthquake.
- Do not use the elevators.
- Do not get in the “triangle of life”. A post has been circulating which describes an alternative to the long-established “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” advice. The “triangle of life” is life-threatening and the credibility of the source has been questioned.
If You are Outdoors During an Earthquake…
- The main rule is to just stay there without running inside or anywhere else. Shaking can be so strong that you will not be able to move far without falling down, and objects may fall or be thrown at you that you do not expect
- Move away from buildings, streetlights, trees, and utility wires. Remember that the worst dangers exist outside buildings, at exits, and alongside exterior walls.
If you are in a Moving Vehicles During an Earthquake…
- Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.
- Keep roads clear for rescue and emergency vehicles.
- Do not attempt to get out of your car if downed power lines are across it. Wait to be rescued or place a HELP sign in your window if you need assistance
- Listen to your car radio for instructions from emergency officials
- Continue with caution once the earthquake stops. Avoid bridges, ramps, or anything that might have been damaged by the earthquake.
Better Safe than Sorry
Your past experience in an earthquake may give you a false sense of safety. You probably didn’t do anything, or you ran outside. Maybe it wasn’t as destructive as what may happen in the future. You likely have never experienced the kind of strong earthquake shaking. Practice these tips to help you be more prepared for such natural calimities.