What to Expect from an Earthquake

Earthquakes are one of the scariest natural disasters that a person can experience.  It starts with hard shaking, and many times the shaking is accompanied by a loud sound that is comparable to a large truck flying down the road.  There is nothing secure, everything is moving and things are falling all around you.  Here are a number of things you need to know about earthquakes.

The safest place you can be in an earthquake is in a doorway.  If you are able, grab a pillow on your way to the doorway, and use it to cover your head and face.  This will give you added protection from falling things. 

Many people get under a bed or table.  That will keep you from being hit by things that are falling, but it won’t give you much protection if a wall falls or if a roof caves in.  Only use these places if you can’t get to a doorway.

Never run outside.  There is always the danger of walls falling or roofing coming off.  Trees may fall and electric wires may come down.  The dangers outside are much greater than inside during an earthquake.  

As soon as the shaking stops, run drinking water into clean containers.  Attempt to get to any food items that may have been in the house, and place them close to an outside door where they can be easily reached even if a wall falls.  You will, also, need a couple of pans to cook in.

Turn off the electricity and gas.  This is very important in order to prevent a possible fire or an explosion.  They should not be turned back on until they are completely checked over.

 Get tents or blankets and move outside.  Make sure you aren’t close to walls or power lines.  Find a clear, open space where you can set up the tent.

Always have a flashlight close at hand that you can grab when the shaking starts.  More often than not, the electricity will go out, and if it is nighttime, you won’t be able to see without one.  Keep batteries for a radio in the freezer compartment of your refrigerator so you can listen to the radio for any special instructions.

If you live close to the ocean, head for high ground as quickly as possible.  Even if the radio is telling you that there won’t be a tsunami, go anyway.  Stay on high ground for at least twenty four hours.

Earthquakes are extremely dangerous.  By learning these things, you will be doing everything possible to protect and save lives.  Staying calm and reacting in a sensible way is the most important thing that you can do during an earthquake.