It can be extremely alarming during an earthquake and can leave you pretty “shaken-up”.  You have to do some quick thinking and make sure you and the people around you are safe and away from danger.

Drop, cover and hold on.

When inside your home, you want to drop down and take cover and hold on under a strong table or desk. Staying on your hands and knees will protect you from being knocked down and will protect your vital organs. Stay away from windows and large cabinets or appliances. Stay indoors and do not attempt to go outside.

If you are awakened while in bed, lie face down to protect your organs and cover your head with a pillow until the shaking subsides.

While outside, stay clear of large trees, tall buildings, power lines and vehicles. Back away from a home with a chimney close by in case it topples over. Drop, Cover and Hold on.

You may be driving; stay inside your car, pull over and set the parking brake where it is safe – away from the same hazards as listed above. If you see a fallen power line, stay in the vehicle until trained personnel come to your aid.   Watch for cracks in the pavement.

If you are a person with a disability and unable to drop to the ground, then remain or sit in a chair and lean forward as much as possible and cover your head and neck.

And please don’t use the stairs, wait it out.

In homes today, a doorway is no longer considered a strong place in the home. You are more at risk to be struck by a falling object. Crawl under a sturdy table (not glass).

During a quake, do not run outside or from room to room; you may easily get hit from falling objects. One of the most volatile rooms to be in is the kitchen, so please try to carefully move away to a safer location.


If you are in a mountainous area, be aware of falling rock, landslides and trees.

And lastly, if you are near an ocean, prepare for a possible tsunami. Get to higher ground and away from the coastline. If near a multiple story building, climb to the third floor or higher. Climb a nearby tree. Stay in a safe place until authorities have indicated the danger has passed.

You just never know where you will be during the next quake, but when you know what to do, you will be able to react quickly to keep you safe until the shaking is over.