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What to do in an Earthquake

If you are indoors when shaking starts:

  • “DROP, COVER AND HOLD ON.” If you are not near a strong table or desk, drop to the floor against an interior wall and cover your head and neck with your arms.

  • Avoid windows, hanging objects, mirrors, tall furniture, large appliances and cabinets filled with heavy objects.

  • Do not try to run out of the structure during strong shaking.

  • If you are downtown, it is safer to remain inside a building after an earthquake unless there is a fire or gas leak. There are no open areas in downtown San Francisco far enough from glass or other falling debris to be considered safe refuge sites. Glass from high-rise buildings does not always fall straight down; it can catch a wind current and travel great distances.

  • If you are in bed, stay there and cover your head with a pillow.

  • Do not use elevators.

  • If you use a wheelchair, lock the wheels and cover your head.

If you are outdoors when shaking starts:

  • Move to a clear area if you can safely walk. Avoid power lines, buildings and trees.

  • If you’re driving, pull to the side of the road and stop. Avoid stopping under overhead hazards

  • If you are on the beach, move to higher ground. An earthquake can cause a tsunami.

Once the earthquake shaking stops:

  • Check the people around you for injuries; provide first aid. Do not move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger.

  • Check around you for dangerous conditions, such as fires, downed power lines and structure damage.

  • If you have fire extinguishers and are trained to use them, put out small fires immediately.

  • Turn off the gas only if you smell gas.

  • Check your phones to be sure they have not shaken off the hook and are tying up a line.

  • Inspect your home for damage.

If you are trapped in debris:

  • Move as little as possible so that you don’t kick up dust. Cover your nose and mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.

  • Tap on a pipe or wall so that rescuers can hear where you are. Use a whistle if one is available. Shout only as a last resort.

 

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