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How To Be Prepared For An Earthquake

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Earthquakes are truly one of the planet's most terrifying and potentially destructive natural phenomena. While current technology does not allow for us to actually prevent earthquakes from happening, we do have the tools to understand how to prepare for an earthquake. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the United States Geological Survey offer a number of useful tips, tricks and plans.


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Protocol during an earthquake can be broken down into four categories: what do do if you're indoors, outdoors, in a moving vehicle, or trapped under debris.

Indoor Earthquake Emergency Action

In the event of an earthquake, immediately get low to the ground, preferably beneath a table, and hold on. If a table is not nearby, then curl up in a corner and cover your head with your arms. When you start to feel the earthquake, move away from windows and light fixtures – anything that could break, fall, or injure you when the ground begins to shake. If you are in bed, stay there during the earthquake. As long as there are no nearby windows, heavy lights above or hangings on the wall, it could be the safest place to stay during the earthquake.

Only use a doorway as your earthquake go-to place if you know the foundation is sturdy. Never use an elevator. Keep in mind that during an earthquake the electricity may go out, and your building or home fire sprinklers might turn on.

Outdoor Earthquake Emergency Action

If you’re outside in the event of an earthquake, do not go inside. Run away from any nearby buildings, streetlights, utility wires, or any large object or structure that could potentially fall on you.

Vehicle Earthquake Emergency Action

Stop your vehicle as soon as safely as you can, making sure not to park your car near any trees, streetlights or buildings that could damage you and/or your vehicle. When driving after the earthquake has stopped, avoid bridges or roads that have been severely damaged.

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