Forewarned is forearmed, especially when it comes to earthquakes. Fortunately, not all of us have experienced their consequences, but we surely should know what to do in case of one. Even if we live in a safe area, this doesn’t mean we’ll never face this danger.
We combined the recommendations of the Red Cross and the United Nations experts on the impact of natural disasters for you to know how to stay safe during an earthquake.
- Hide in a doorway. It’s a dangerous myth: a doorframe can fall right on your head.
- Run outdoors if you’re above the first floor. Elevators and stairs are extremely dangerous during earthquakes.
- As soon as you feel tremors, move closer to an outer wall. If a building falls, you’ll be found more quickly.
- Make sure there’s nothing around you that may fall: lighting appliances, hanging cabinets.
- Lie down on the floor, preferably close to a couch or a bed (not under!). If a cabinet or a ceiling falls, your bed will take a hit and next to it there will form a clear space. Meanwhile, it’s stable enough not to fall down on you. Another good variant is to lie close to a wall.
- Curl up, covering your head with your arms to protect it.
This theory is quite controversial. On the one hand, the most common danger during an earthquake is falling objects. If we knew in advance that an earthquake wasn’t going to be strong enough to bring down the house, we could safely hide under the table.
But in more severe earthquakes, when walls and ceilings fall, the table would simply crush a person.
You have about 10-20 seconds from a first tremor to a possible collapse. It would be perfect if you used them to leave the building. But don’t do it if:
- You’re above the first floor, as has already been said.
- There’s a crowd at the exit.
- You doubt that it will take less than 10 seconds. In this case, the danger of getting injured trying to get outside is higher than if you stay inside.
You always need some time to assess a situation. In an emergency, making a decision becomes even more difficult.