No one knows when the next "BIG ONE" will strike, but eventually it will. Do you know what to do before, during and after an earthquake to prepare and stay safe?
Everyone, everywhere, should know how to protect themselves during earthquakes, whether they live, work, or travel to an area where earthquakes are common. Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills are annual opportunities to learn and practice earthquake safety with millions of people worldwide! Each year, ShakeOut participants in schools, businesses, non-profits, government agencies, neighborhoods, organizations, and households all across the world practice “Drop, Cover and Hold On” and other aspects of their emergency plans. The goal of ShakeOut is to encourage people and organizations to be prepared to survive and to recover quickly when the next big earthquake happens. ShakeOut began in Southern California in 2008. Since then ShakeOut has grown to include participation across the United States and several other countries. More than 62.5 million people worldwide participated in 2018.
Everyone should know what steps to take before, during and after an earthquake. Visit www.EarthquakeCountry.org/sevensteps to learn about the Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety:
PREPARE (before an earthquake):
(Step 1) Secure your space by identifying hazards and securing moveable items such as furniture and other heavy objects to avoid injuries and damage.
(Step 2) Plan to be safe by creating a disaster plan and deciding how you will communicate in an emergency. Where will you meet your family? How will you get to work? Do you know how to perform CPR, or to use a fire extinguisher?
(Step 3) Organize disaster supplies in convenient locations.
(Step 4) Minimize financial hardship by organizing important documents, strengthening your property, and considering insurance.
SURVIVE (during and just after an earthquake):
(Step 5) Whenever you feel shaking, always Drop, Cover, and Hold On immediately!
DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees. This position protects you from being knocked down and also allows you to stay low and crawl to shelter if nearby.
COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand. If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter. If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall (away from windows)
Stay on your knees; bend over to protect vital organs
HOLD ON until shaking stops
Under shelter: hold on to it with one hand; be ready to move with your shelter if it shifts
No shelter: hold on to your head and neck with both arms and hands.
No sturdy desk or table? Drop, Cover, and Hold On. Avoid exterior walls, windows, hanging objects, mirrors, tall furniture, large appliances, and kitchen cabinets with heavy objects or glass. However, do not try to move more than 5-7 feet before getting on the ground. Do not go outside during shaking! The area near the exterior walls of a building is the most dangerous place to be. Windows, facades and architectural details are often the first parts of the building to break away. If seated and unable to drop to the floor: bend forward, Cover your head with your arms, and Hold On to your next with both hands.
(Step 6) Improve safety after earthquakes by evacuating, if necessary, helping the injured, and preventing further injuries or damage. Be ready for aftershocks that may continue for several weeks to months after large earthquakes.
RECOVER (after an earthquake):
(Step 7) Reconnect and Restore. Restore daily life by reconnecting with others, repairing damage, and rebuilding community.
To keep phone lines accessible for emergency use, communicate via text message rather than calling.
If you have an earthquake insurance policy and have suffered any property damage, contact your insurance agent or company for assistance.