Earthquakes are unpredictable and may strike without warning. Earthquake injuries usually result from falling debris. Disruption of communication lines, light and power lines, and sewer and water mains can be expected.
If an earthquake strikes when you are inside:
- Stay inside.
- Watch out for falling plaster, light fixtures, glass, bookcases, etc.
- Stay away from windows and mirrors. Either crawl under a table or desk, sit or stand against an inside wall away from windows, or stand in a strong inside doorway. Assist others if necessary.
- Do not use open flames.
If an earthquake strikes when you are outside:
- Avoid high buildings, walls, power poles, and other objects that may fall. Move to open areas away from hazards.
- If surrounded by buildings, seek shelter in the nearest strong one.
If an earthquake strikes when you are in an automobile:
- Stop in the nearest open area if possible.
- Stay in the vehicle.
After the tremor is over:
- Check for injured people. Do not move seriously injured people unless they are in immediate danger.
- If it appears that the buildings may have been damaged, evacuate. Aftershocks can level severely damaged buildings.
- Dial 911 and report the emergency situation. Be sure to give them your name, location, and telephone number.
- Do not use plumbing or anything electrical (including elevators) until after the utility and electrical lines have been checked.
- Open doors carefully, watching for objects that may fall.
- Do not use matches or lighters. Natural gas lines may have been disrupted. Watch for fires that may have started.
- Keep streets clear for emergency vehicles.
- Be prepared for additional earthquake shocks.