What to do in an Earthquake

What to do in an Earthquake

What should you do in an Earthquake?

Sadly what they teach in the Philippines is very out-of-date, running out of a building with your hands over your head as they teach in the Philippines is more likely to get you killed.

A member of a UK team that assists in disasters around the world once told me a high number of deaths in an earthquake are from debris falling on the outside of the building. Hence, the reason in most countries they tell you to stay in the building.

I would strongly advise that you teach your family to forget what they have been taught in drills about running outside with their hands over their head.

Look at photos of buildings damaged by earthquakes and you will notice most of the damage is to the outside walls. So you do not want to be running past the part of the building that is most likely to be damaged.

So what should you do?

Drop when you feel an EarthquakeDROP As soon as you feel a trembling drop where you are, onto your hands and knees. In this position you can not be knocked down and also allows you to stay low and crawl to shelter if nearby. It also protects your vital organs.




Cover from an EarthquakeCOVER 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 when there is an EarthquakeHOLD ON until shaking stops
Under shelter: hold on to it with one hand and be ready to move with your shelter if it shifts
No shelter: hold on to your head and neck with both arms and hands.





Trying to move while there is shaking from an earthquake puts you at risk: You get no warning when there is an Earthquake and they can be so violent that you cannot walk, run or even crawl. A violent earthquake will knock you down, another reason you should not try to run outside.

So it is best to drop before the earthquake knocks you down, then find something nearby to shelter under, if you can not get to shelter use your arms and hands to protect your head and neck.
The “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” gives you the best chance of survival as you can quickly protect yourself during an earthquake.

The greatest danger in an earthquake

Studies of deaths and injuries caused by earthquakes over the last 30 years show that you are more likely to be injured by falling or flying objects (Glass, TVs, bookcases, lamps, etc.) than you are to die in a collapsed building. “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” will protect you from most of these injuries.

No furniture nearby

If there is no furniture to get under try to get next to an interior wall and covering your head and neck with your arms.
Studies have shown that interior walls are less likely to collapse than exterior walls. Normally interior walls do not have windows so reduce the chance of being injured by breaking glass.

If you are in bed

Studies have shown more people that moved from their bed have been injured than those that stayed in bed. So stay in bed and cover your head with a pillow.

Building collapse

Building collapse is less of a danger than you think, while the media show us images of buildings that have collapsed and these are frightening images. The truth is most buildings do not collapse and even less completely collapse.

To sum up.

Drop Cover and Hold.

Do not run outside past exterior walls that are most likely to get damaged.

Get under something.

Drill your family in what to do, and get into their heads that they must forget the outdated idea of running outside. This may be difficult with children as it conflicts with what they are being taught in schools, but it will give them a greater chance of surviving.


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