Earthquake PreparednessWhile earthquakes are sometimes believed to be a West Coast phenomenon, there are actually 45 states and territories throughout the United States that are at moderate to high risk for earthquakes, including the New Madrid fault line in the Central U.S. Since it is impossible to predict when an earthquake will occur, it is important that you and your family are prepared ahead of time.What to Do:Federal, state, and local emergency management experts and other official preparedness organizations all agree that "Drop, Cover, and Hold On" is the appropriate action to reduce injury and death during earthquakes. The annual Great ShakeOut earthquake drill is our opportunity to practice how to protect ourselves during earthquakes. This page explains what to do -- and what not to do.
PROTECT YOURSELF. SPREAD THE WORD.
Official rescue teams who have been dispatched to the scene of earthquakes and other disasters around the world continue to advocate use of the internationally recognized "Drop, Cover and Hold On" protocol to protect lives during earthquakes:
DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!).
Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and
HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops.
If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building. Do not try to run to another room just to get under a table.
What NOT to do:
DO NOT get in a doorway! An early earthquake image of California is a collapsed adobe home with the door frame as the only standing part. From this came our belief that a doorway is the safest place to be during an earthquake. In modern houses and buildings, doorways are no safer, and they do not protect you from flying or falling objects. Get under a table instead!
DO NOT run outside! Trying to run in an earthquake is dangerous, as the ground is moving and you can easily fall or be injured by debris or glass. Running outside is especially dangerous, as glass, bricks, or other building components may be falling. You are much safer to stay inside and get under a table.
DO NOT believe the so-called "triangle of life"! In recent years, an email has circulated which has recommends potentially life threatening actions, and the source has been discredited by leading experts. Read this special report to learn more.