What to do during an earthquake
What is an earthquake ?
Also known an a tremor or temblor : An earthquake occurs when the layers (plates) of the earth's rocky crust slide/move and hit each other.
This produces strong seismic waves that will actually shake the ground and can be strong enough to cause building to collapse, destruction of bridges, buildings, power lines. It can also cause avalanches, huge sea waves and changes in the structure of the layers of the ground (crackes, fissures, etc).
Themagnitude of an earthquake is measured using the Richter's scale.An earthquake of a magnitude 8.6 releases energy equivalent to about 10,000 atomic bombs of the type used to destroy Hiroshima in World War II.
What to do during an earthquake ?
You should have a plan for what you are going to do and how to prepare for an earthquake to reduce the risks to a minimum level. All family members should be aware of the emergency plan and some of them should receive education about dealing with disasters and how to perform first aids and resuscitation.
During the Earthquake:
- Stay away from the walls, windows, hanged objects and anything that might fall and lay on the ground in a safe place near a disk, a bed or under sturdy furniture. Try to shield yourself and protect your face and head from falling objects and glass.
Remember the three words: Drop, Cover and Hold on.
- Turn off the electricity and gas.
- Don't use the elevator.
- Don't use candles or light up matches because there may be a gas leak.
- Stay in place until the shaking stops, do not leave or move between rooms.
- If you are outdoors, go to an open place and stay away from buildings and electric wires and from anything that might fall. Don't move until it's over.
- If the earthquake occurs during driving your car, slow down and stop the car in a safe area away from buildings. Stay in the car until the shaking stops.
After it ends:
- Be ready for aftershocks, leave the building and stay away from any broken electric wires, check yourself and others for injuries and call 911 for help.
- Perform first aids for injured persons if you know how to or shout for help.
- Check for any gas leaks or damaged electric cables, turn electricity off from the main box if you notice sparks or damaged wires.
More information and important resources
For more information and resources about what to do before, during and after an earthquake as well as other natural disasters, check the following websites: