An earthquake is a sudden, rapid shaking of the ground caused by the shifting of rocks deep underneath the earth’s surface. Earthquakes can cause fires, tsunamis, landslides or avalanches.
Here are some words to know about earthquakes:
Earthquake: a sudden, quick shaking of the earth, caused by rocks moving under the ground
Aftershock: a smaller earthquake that follows the main earthquake
Fault: a crack in rocks below the earth’s surface
Epicenter: the center of the earthquake
Seismic Waves: damaging vibrations that travel outward from the earthquake center
Magnitude: the strength of the earthquake, measured on a scale
Before an Earthquake
Practice “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” with your family. Drop to your hands and knees. Cover your head and neck with your arms. Crawl only as far as needed to reach cover from falling materials. Hold on to any sturdy furniture until the shaking stops.
Secure heavy furniture and hanging items to the walls.
Create a family emergency communication plan.
Build an emergency kit.
During an Earthquake
If you are indoors:
Drop, Cover, and Hold On! Take cover under a desk, table, bed or doorframe. Stay clear of windows.
Stay put until the shaking stops. Do NOT run outside.
If in bed, stay there and cover your head and neck with a pillow.
Be aware that the electricity may go out, or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on. Do not use the elevators.
If you are outdoors:
Find an open area clear of buildings and power lines.
If you are in car:
Stay inside with your seatbelt on until the shaking stops.
If a power line falls on your car, do not get out. Call 911 and wait in your car.
After an earthquake
Do not enter damaged buildings.
Open doors and cabinets carefully, objects may have moved and fallen.