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Earthquake Tips

Updated on November 19, 2013
the road in bohol
the road in bohol | Source

Earthquake defined

Our country has been affected by earthquake just a few months ago. Luckily there was no damage in our house and everyone in the family was safe. But it surely gave us the shock of our lives.

Earthquake actually is defined as a weak to violent shaking of the ground produced by the sudden movement of rock materials below the earth’s surface. They are normally caused by sudden movements along the faults and plane boundaries of the earth (tectonic) and by movement of magma beneath the volcanoes (volcanic).

A friend of mine from the agency which governs situations like this, told me that there is no gadget invented yet to predict the occurrence of an earthquake. We can however prepare ourselves by knowing what to do before, during and after an earthquake.

He also told me that earthquake do not kill people. It is the building that kills people.

Loboc Church in Bohol
Loboc Church in Bohol | Source
Damaged Baclayon Church
Damaged Baclayon Church | Source

Damage has been done

As I have mentioned earlier, we have been struck by an earthquake just recently. Fortunately, there were few lives lost but the damage to property was severe. In our city, some building were slightly damage with cracks and one subdivision was abandoned.

The greatest damage was in one of our neighboring island, Bohol. It was noted that the intensity of the quake was measured at 7.2 and the epicenter was in the island of Bohol. As you may know, the Philippines is made up of 7,100 plus islands.

Take a look at these old churches of Bohol,. they were completely damaged by the quake. Luckily it did not occur on a Sunday where most of us Christians go to church.

There were areas in Bohol which became isolated, since the roads were impassable and help did not reached the area right away. Up until now, relief operations are ongoing to help the victims of the disaster.

Even the famous chocolate hills of Bohol which is a tourist attraction was not spared.Truly the damage was enormous. Sad again to note that earthquakes can never be prevented. That is why it is important to know what should be done before, during and after the earthquake.

conducting earthquake drill
conducting earthquake drill | Source

Preparation is vital (before the earthquake occurs)

  • Well, first and foremost, it would be advisable to have a disaster emergency kit at home. They do come handy not only when an earthquake occurs but also during calamities such as typhoon and other natural or man made disasters. You can check out my Disaster Kit hubpage for this.
  • Shelves often shake and fall causing injuries and damage so insure that they are secured to the wall.
  • Breakable items like bottled glass, bottled food, and china should be placed in close cabinets and possibly with latches.
  • Mirrors on the wall should be secure enough as they break when they fall causing injuries and sometimes with severe effect.
  • Electrical wiring should be check from time to time as well as gas connection. They are potential for fire risk even without the earthquake.
  • Cracks in the ceilings as well as the foundations if there are any should be check and repaired. They are sign of weakness and perhaps possible structural defects.
  • Locate safe areas within the house that you can use to cover should an earthquake occurs. It is best to know them in advance and incorporate these places during an earthquake drill..
  • Hold earthquake drills with your family members: Drop, cover and hold on.Conduct earthquake drills. Not only in the office but likewise at home. People normally conduct earthquake drills in the workplace and in schools but rarely at home.
  • Designate a safe area where everyone will go once evacuation is decided. That way, everyone will easily be accounted should an evacuation is done.


During the earthquake

There are different scenarios during the earthquake. You could probably be indoors, our outdoors and in different settings. You can also probably in your car or a vehicle. What you do entirely depends on where you are. Let us start with indoors.

The best thing you can do when you are inside a building like in your office or at home is to Drop to the ground and find a cover. A table would be a great place to stay under. Another would be a desk or furniture where you can slip yourself under. It is best to hold on there until the shaking stops. Unfortunately, if there isn't any, best would be is to cover your face and head and crouch your arms in an inside corner of the building or your house. As much as possible, stay away from glass and windows or anything that could fall. If you are in bed, then stay there until the earthquake stops. Use a pillow to protect your head.

It is advisable to stay in the house or building while the quake is going. Studies has shown that most injuries occur when a person move to different locations during the quake. Only when the shaking stops, and it is safe to go outside that you should go.

If outdoors:

If however you are outdoors, then stay where you are. But should you be near any buildings, electrical post, electrical wires, then move away. Bear in mind that the greatest danger is when falling debris like glass and perhaps falling walls when you are outside.

When driving a vehicle along the road

Stop as soon as you are safe to stop and stay inside the vehicle. Once again avoid stopping near trees, overpass, buildings electrical post and wires as they may fall over the vehicle. The road could be damage so move slowly once the earthquake stop.

If trapped after the earthquake

There are certain things to avoid if ever you are trapped. Remember that there could be gas leak after the shake and a small spark may cause ignition to this gas. So never light a match. Stop moving to reserve energy and cover your mouth to avoid inhaling dust and other particles. Shouting should be done as a last resort as you may inhale dangerous amounts of dust.. tap on a pipe or a wall for rescuers to notice and locate you.

Exit the building safely
Exit the building safely | Source

After the quake

After the earthquake, look around and check if it is safe to move and from there, exit the building. Remember aftershocks may occur. If any person is injured, assist them to safety. Be aware also that earthquakes may cause tsunamis so be careful if you live in a low level area near the sea.

Another thing to consider is the possibility of fire. During the shake, damage to electrical wiring as well as gas supply could cause the fire and should be taken into account. Make sure these things are inspected aside from checking the building for defects.

Listen to radios or perhaps news about the incident and be updated. Who knows you might be able to help in your own small way to people who might have been affected severely.


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    • ananceleste profile image

      Anan Celeste 

      4 years ago from California

      Great piece, I hate earthquakes! But living in Ca ,they are unavoidable. My concern is always my grandma, she is 87 and living with us. I don't know how to protect her. Even though, there are five of us to do so, we are afraid she might get hurt in the process. Thumbs up!

    • ologsinquito profile image


      4 years ago from USA

      It looks like a frightening experience. Earthquakes can also happen in areas where we least expect them. Great article, by the way.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 

      4 years ago from West By God

      Great hub and very good information for everyone. Voted up, useful and interesting and sharing!

    • titi6601 profile image


      4 years ago

      Earthquakes are so scary the ground is always shaking here in California.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      New. Madrid. Earthquake. December. 26th. 2013 10.0. Earthquake. Flooding. Crap. Out. Of. Chicago il. 7:58am. Memphis All. Day. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. 10.0. Earthquake. !!!!!!!!!!!

    • JPSO138 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      It is really frightening Suzette, most especially if we are not aware of what to do. Thanks for the comment.

    • JPSO138 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      Hi vespawoolf, it is really good to be prepared at all times. It will reduce the possibility of casualties and injuries.

    • JPSO138 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      Hi midget, I hope that people will find this useful as earthquakes may happen without any warning.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 

      4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Great article on earthquakes and how to get through them. You give some great tips and advice on what to do. I am so sorry to hear you experience damaging earthquakes in your country. It is difficult when they cannot be predicted so you can take precautions. I have only been in one earthquake in my life and it was a very minor one, but the house swayed back and forth. It was like 15 seconds long, but felt like an hour when experiencing it. I can't imagine a strong quake - how frightening.

    • vespawoolf profile image


      4 years ago from Peru, South America

      I am sorry about all the damage your country has suffered from earthquakes. As residents of Peru, we are no stranger to tremors and earthquakes. We always keep an emergency kit handy and have located the safest place in our home and office in case of an earthquake. I'm glad to know that we shouldn't run out during the quake but instead seek refuge under a desk or other sturdy structure. This is very helpful. Thanks!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      4 years ago from Singapore

      Vital information for those who live in areas that are prone to quakes. Passing this on immediately.

    • JPSO138 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      Hi nell, thanks for the concern and thanks for the comment.

    • JPSO138 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      Hi wetosedogs, there are places that are prone to earthquakes, sad to note our area is one of them. Keep safe always!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      4 years ago from England

      This is great information, and I am glad you are safe from the latest trouble out there, this will be so helpful for anybody going through an earthquake, nell

    • wetnosedogs profile image


      4 years ago from Alabama

      This is a great informative hub for people who live where earthquakes are possible.

    • JPSO138 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      That is great to know rebecca. I am glad that you are in a place that is not prone to earthquakes. We on the other hand have been affected. Regardless, it is best to know what to do should we encounter such. Thanks for the visit and the appreciation.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      We are not immune to earthquakes around here, even though they are rare. Thanks for this great information. I won't forget. Your pics really help!

    • JPSO138 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      Hi crafty, thanks for the visit on this hub. I am glad to hear that you never had any and pray that it will never occur. Perhaps your area has not faults. As you can see when faults lines under the earth moves they create such earthquakes. Best to you always and thanks for the comment.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image


      4 years ago

      Such important information in your Hub. We have never had an earthquake where I live. There have been minor ones in this state, but never in this town. The last one that was recorded was about 100 years ago. I've often wondered if we're due for one or if we just live in an area that doesn't have them. It's so sad to hear about them when they happen.

    • JPSO138 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      Hi fivesenses, yes I have heard about earthquakes occurring in India. It really pays to know. Take care and be safe. Thanks for the comment.

    • fivesenses profile image


      4 years ago from new delhi

      Earthquakes cause damage to a country's infrastucture.....not to mention lives and property.

      Even my country india has started seeing many earthquates in recent years....thanks for the tips.

    • JPSO138 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      Hi flourish away, thanks for dropping by. I also thought before that when an earthquake occurs, we should rush out from the building right away. It really is important to learn..

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      4 years ago from USA

      This is helpful information. I hope that being in the Philippines you are safe and well.

      I live in an area that is not at all known for earthquakes, however we had one a few years ago. I was sitting in a business meeting and it felt like the ground was rumbling. Because people were completely and totally ill equipped, everyone went outside and gathered on the company lawn. Later, we learned that wasn't a smart thing to do.

    • JPSO138 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      Hi Frank, thanks for reading and finding it useful. I see the need to come up with this one since we were just hit by an earthquake a few weeks past. Hoping in a way to educate people.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      4 years ago from Shelton

      very useful, and easy to follow, thank you for sharing this hub JPSO :) Frank

    • JPSO138 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      Hi mike, true indeed. There are places that are really prone to earthquakes. Knowing what to do and coming up with drills were surely help if ever it happens.

    • JPSO138 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      Hi kidscraft, thanks for dropping by. It is really nice to know that people are taught early on this since they are very important.

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 

      4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      This is great advice- especially for those who have never been through one. THank you for posting!

    • Mike Robbers profile image

      Mike Robbers 

      4 years ago from London

      Very useful hub!! A lot of people around the world live in high dangerous of earthquakes areas and these advises can save their lifes. Simple and important as that.

      Keep up the good work.

      Voted up of course

    • kidscrafts profile image


      4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Great advices about earthquakes! We had a few in Ottawa but no destruction :-) But for a while I lived in Africa near the Tanganika lake when I was a kid and we had a few and I remember that I was taught to leave the house when it started!

      Thanks for sharing!

    • JPSO138 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      Hi DDE, thanks for finding this hub useful. A lot of properties have been damage by earthquake but knowing what to do will surely save lives.

    • JPSO138 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      you are right teaches12345, I have been conducting training programs on emergency preparedness and sad to note that many still are not aware on what to do. Thanks for visiting and for the comment. Best always!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Earthquake Tips a useful and most helpful hub on this topic. Earthquakes can be disastrous and these tips show how one can prepare themselves great suggestions.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      4 years ago

      Living in South Florida we practice hurricane drills and I am thankful that earthquakes have not hit this area. Your post is very useful to readers and I'm sure that some didn't know how to prepare for this disaster. Well done.

    • JPSO138 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      hi sheilamyers, thanks for dropping by and for the concern on our safety. I am sad to note that tornadoes do appear in your area. But still it is something that we should be prepared. We do not have tornadoes in our place but we do have a typhoon. Regardless what they are, we should do certain steps to insure safety and of course awareness is the key. Best always!

    • JPSO138 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      @ moonlake, I have heard about earthquakes affecting your area. But glad to know that they are just small. Nevertheless, it is great that everyone is aware and are doing things to educate people and be safe.

    • JPSO138 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      Hi MsDora, thanks for dropping by. Be safe always! Glad to see you here.

    • JPSO138 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International


      I admire you area for coming up with drill from time to time. You never can tell when it may happen and preparation is definitely the key. Thanks for the dropping by.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      First, I'd like to say I'm so happy to hear you and your family are safe and unharmed. I've never lived in an area prone to earthquakes so I've never heard of some of your precautions and what to do. The only thing I've ever heard was to find cover in a doorway. Thanks for sharing all of the information. As you said, these could apply to other situations such as tornadoes which we do get from time to time around here.

    • moonlake profile image


      4 years ago from America

      We lived in California and they were always telling us what we should do in an earthquake. I don't miss the fear of earthquake. We have small ones here once every few years. Voted up.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Happy that you and your family were safe. We experience earthquakes in the Caribbean occasionally. Thank you for these very useful tips.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Since we were little kids we were taught earthquake safety. Living here in Washington you just never know and always want to be prepared. Great tips here.


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