Do you and your family know how to prepare for an earthquake?
If You Are Inside When the Shaking Starts...
- Drop, cover and hold on. Move as little as possible.
- If you are in bed, stay there, curl up and hold on. Protect your head with a pillow.
- Stay away from windows to avoid being injured by shattered glass.
- Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to exit. When it is, use stairs rather than the elevator in case there are aftershocks, power outages or other damage.
- Be aware that fire alarms and sprinkler systems frequently go off in buildings during an earthquake, even if there is no fire.
Did You Know?
Doorways are no stronger than any other part of a structure so don’t rely on them for protection! During an earthquake, get under a sturdy piece of furniture and hold on. It will help shelter you from falling objects that could injure you during an earthquake.
If You Are Outside When the Shaking Starts...
- If you are in a vehicle, pull over to a clear location and stop. Avoid bridges, overpasses and power lines if possible. Stay inside with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops. Then, drive carefully, avoiding bridges and ramps that may have been damaged.
- If a power line falls on your vehicle, do not get out. Wait for assistance.
- If you are in a mountainous area or near unstable slopes or cliffs, be alert for falling rocks and other debris. Landslides are often triggered by earthquakes.
Download the App
The Red Cross Earthquake App, available in English and Spanish, gives users access to real-time information so they know what to do before, during and after earthquakes.
The Earthquake App can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross. Information on all American Red Cross apps can be found at redcross.org/mobileapps.
- Check yourself for injuries. Protect yourself from further danger by putting on long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, sturdy shoes, and work gloves.
- Check others for injuries. Give aid according to your level of training… sometimes the best aid can be provided just by being a caring presence.
- Look for and extinguish small fires. Eliminate fire hazards. Turn off the gas if you smell gas or think its leaking. (Remember, only a professional should turn it back on.)
- Listen to the radio for instructions.
- Expect aftershocks. Each time you feel one, DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON!
- Inspect your home for damage. Get everyone out if your home is unsafe.
- Expect phone systems to be overloaded during an emergency. Use the telephone only to report life-threatening emergencies.
Want to share this information? The Earthquake Safety Checklist is available for download.