Do’s and Don’ts – Earthquake
What to Do Before an Earthquake
- Repair deep plaster cracks in ceilings and foundations. Get expert advice if there are signs of structural defects.
- Anchor overhead lighting fixtures to the ceiling.
- Follow BIS codes relevant to your area for building standards
- Fasten shelves securely to walls.
- Place large or heavy objects on lower shelves.
- Store breakable items such as bottled foods, glass, and china in low, closed cabinets with latches.
- Hang heavy items such as pictures and mirrors away from beds, settees, and anywhere that people sit.
- Brace overhead light and fan fixtures.
- Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections. These are potential fire
- Secure water heaters, LPG cylinders etc., by strapping them to the walls or bolting to the
- Store weed killers, pesticides, and flammable products securely in closed cabinets with latches and on bottom shelves.
- Identify safe places indoors and outdoors.
- Under strong dining table, bed
- Against an inside wall
- Away from where glass could shatter around windows, mirrors, pictures, or where heavy bookcases or other heavy furniture could fall over
- In the open, away from buildings, trees, telephone and electrical lines, flyovers and bridges
- Know emergency telephone numbers (such as those of doctors, hospitals, the police, etc)
- Educate yourself and family members
What to Do During an Earthquake
Stay as safe as possible during an earthquake. Be aware that some earthquakes are actually foreshocks and a larger earthquake might occur. Minimize your movements to a few steps that reach a nearby safe place and stay indoors until the shaking has stopped and you are sure exiting is safe.
- DROP to the ground; take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and HOLD ON until the shaking stops. If there is no a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.
- Protect yourself by staying under the lintel of an inner door, in the corner of a room, under a table or even under a bed.
- Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, (such as lighting fixtures or furniture).
- Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.
- Use a doorway for shelter only if it is in close proximity to you and if you know it is a strongly supported, load bearing doorway.
- Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Research has shown that most injuries occur when people inside buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave.
- Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.
- Do not move from where you are. However, move away from buildings, trees, streetlights, and utility wires.
- If you are in open space, stay there until the shaking stops. The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings; at exits; and alongside exterior walls. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.
If in a moving vehicle
- Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.
- Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that might have been damaged by the earthquake.
If trapped under debris
- Do not light a match.
- Do not move about or kick up dust.
- Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.
- Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you. Use a whistle if one is available. Shout only as a last resort. Shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.