How to Survive an Earthquake

How to Survive an Earthquake

So how to survive an earthquake? We can anticipate the timing of an eclipse hundreds of years in advance, but not earthquakes. We know where they’re going to happen, but not when. Because the amount of variables involved is incalculable. So, if you live in an earthquake-prone area, the best you can do is prepare as though an earthquake could happen at any time.

Earthquake preparation entails learning how to react when the ground beneath you begins to rock and roll as much as it involves accumulating supplies. Another critical component of earthquake survival is learning how to behave in the aftermath, where you may be injured and environmental risks are likely to be present. We’ll go through what an earthquake is, why they happen, and what to do before, during, and after one to offer oneself the best chance of surviving.

Making Plans For The Worst-Case Scenario/ How to Survive an Earthquake

The most we can do, like with every devastating natural phenomenon, is prepare for the worst. If you reside in an earthquake zone, you should “quake-proof” your home. This includes inspecting your home for potential hazards such as large shelves that can fall and bookcases. These goods can be secured with flexible fasteners such as nylon straps, and closed hooks, or by transferring them away from beds and sitting on lower shelves or cupboards with latched doors. Ensure that all gas appliances have flexible connectors fitted by plumbers.

Another constant in this environment is the requirement for a good emergency kit. Because a severe disaster could leave you on your own for an extended period of time, you must be prepared. Water, food, flashlights, batteries, first aid, and any prescription medication should all be included in a serious kit. It’s also a good idea to keep some cash on hand. Banks and automated teller machines will most likely be closed due to power disruptions. Keeping a calm head during an earthquake can often determine whether you are hurt or killed. Here are a few safety tips:

Understand the Warning Signs of an Earthquake.

You may hear a roaring or rumbling sound that gradually becomes stronger during an earthquake. You may also experience a rolling sensation that begins slowly and quickly becomes violent. Alternatively, you may be startled by a severe jolt. You may feel shaky a second or two later and find it difficult to stand up or go from one room to another.

Discover the Safe Zones.

The majority of deaths and injuries after an earthquake are caused by collapsing building components and large falling objects such as bookcases, cabinets, and heating systems. Learn where the safe spots are in each room of your house. If you are already in bed, a secure place could be behind a sturdy table away from the walls, or underneath the covers with a pillow over your head.

Make an Emergency Plan.

This includes, among other things, ensuring that everyone in your family knows how to contact one other in the event of an earthquake. You could, for example, arrange for everyone to check in on a specific person’s Facebook profile. Also, plan a meeting point in case an earthquake occurs while individuals are away from home and communications are down.

Make a Plan for Evacuation.

If an earthquake occurs, you and your family may need to flee a damaged region. You will be better prepared to respond correctly and effectively to indicators of danger or directives from civil authorities if you plan for and practice evacuation.

  • Spend some time with your family discussing a house evacuation strategy. Make a floor layout of your house, walk through each room, and go over evacuation plans. Know the flood zone if you reside downstream of a dam.
  • If possible, plan a second exit from each room or location. Mark the location of any unique equipment, such as a rope ladder.
  • Mark the location of your emergency supply kit (containing food, water, and first aid supplies) and fire extinguishers.
  • Find the location of the utility switches or valves so that they can be shut off, if possible.
  • Indicate where your family’s emergency outside the gathering site is.

Make a Disaster Supplies Kit.

Stock up on emergency goods that will be useful in the aftermath of an earthquake. These supplies should include a first-aid kit as well as emergency supply packs for the home and carexternal symbol, which should include emergency water and food. Stock up on supplies to last at least three days.

You should also compile a list of vital information (such as emergency contact phone numbers, insurance information, and important medical information) and acquire any necessary paperwork (like medical documents, birth certificates, and passports). Keep these belongings in a safe place, such as a fireproof or waterproof safe.

Items for your Home

Put together an emergency supply kit for your home. In addition to your typical emergency supply kit, the following items may be useful after an earthquake:

  • An axe
  • A shovel
  • A sweeping tool
  • A towing or rescue rope
  • Strong shoes that can defend against broken glass, nails, and other debris
  • Gloves (heavy and durable for cleaning up debris) (heavy and durable for cleaning up debris)
  • Fire Extinguisher (multipurpose, dry chemical type)
  • Carry a whistle or other signaling device in your purse or backpack.

Make a Bug-out Bag.

A bug out bag is essentially a condensed version of your emergency supplies housed in a heavy-duty backpack. Every component of your stockpile should be represented, albeit in smaller amounts. If you have to abandon your home and leave your emergency supplies behind, the bug out bag will keep you safe for at least a couple of days.

Purchase a Firearm.

While the administration would not admit it, the sad reality is that in the aftermath of natural calamities such as earthquakes, societal order has a horrible way of crumbling. As a result, the genuinely prepared individual should strongly consider having a pistol on hand to defend their house and loved ones in the event of an emergency.

Preparing Your Home for Earthquakes

Protect your Home from Potential Hazards.

Make sure to evaluate your home and its surroundings for potential threats and, if feasible, secure them. Remember that during an earthquake or its aftershocks, anything can shift, fall, or break.

  • Identify potential risks in each room, such as windows and other glass items, unanchored bookshelves, topple-prone furniture, goods on shelves, and spaces that could be obstructed by falling debris. Where possible, use “L” brackets, corner brackets, aluminum molding, or eyebolts to secure them.
  • Install sliding bolts or childproof latches to secure cabinet doors.
  • Large appliances (such as refrigerators, water heaters, and stoves) should be secured using flexible cable, braided wire, or metal strapping. Wrap your water heater with plastic and secure it to the wall studs.
  • Heavy mirrors and portraits hung over beds, chairs, and other places where you sit or sleep should be moved. Otherwise, use wire through eye screws bolted into wall studs to secure these devices. Alternatively, screw screws into the studs on both sides, the top, and bottom of the frame.
  • Lightweight plastic or wicker baskets can be used in place of heavy ceramic or glass hanging planters.
  • Poisons, solvents, or poisonous items in breakable containers should be identified and moved to safe, well-ventilated storage space. Keep them away from your water storage and out of children’s and pets’ access.

Shelving Security Tips

Attach a wooden or metal guardrail to each open shelf to prevent goods from tumbling over. A less apparent approach is to use a fishing line. You should also place heavy or bulky goods on the lower shelf. Velcro® fasteners can be used to secure some products to their shelf.

Inspect and Safeguard the Structure of your Home.

Examine your home’s structural integrity. If your home is built of traditional wood, it will most likely be relatively resistant to earthquake damage, especially if it is a single-story structure.

  • Use “T” and “L” straps, mending plates, joist hangers, twin post caps, nails, and lap screws to reinforce the connections between beams, posts, joists, and plates. Take special care with exposed framing in garages, basements, porches, and patio covers.
  • Examine your chimney or roof for loose tiles or bricks that could collapse during an earthquake. As needed, tighten loose tiles or bricks.
  • Reinforce the ceiling directly surrounding the chimney with 3/4-inch plywood nailed to ceiling joists to protect yourself from falling chimney bricks that may enter the roof.
  • Contact your local or county government’s community development or building code enforcement office for information on structural safety standards and qualified contractors in your region. Many hardware and home improvement companies will provide you with information and instructions if you wish to conduct the task yourself.

Turn-Off All Utilities.

Understand where and how to turn off utilities such as gas, electricity, and water at the main switches or valves. For more information, contact your local utility company. Teach all family members how to turn off utilities and when to do so.

Important Earthquake Survival Steps

  1. Continue to stand where you are until the shaking stops. Do not go running outside. Do not enter a doorway as this provides no protection from falling or flying things and may cause you to collapse.
  2. Drop to your hands and knees to avoid being thrown down by the earthquake. Drop to the ground (before the earthquake).
  3. To protect yourself against falling debris, cover your head and neck with your arms.
  4. If you are in risk of falling objects and are able to move safely, crawl for extra protection under a strong desk or table.
  5. Hold onto a solid covering and move with it until the shaking stops. Continue to stand where you are until the shaking stops.

Safety if you are in the Middle of an Earthquake

When an earthquake strikes, you are likely to have little or no notice. As a result, you’ll need to have your ducks in a row ahead of time if you want to know what to do if the ground goes haywire. Here are some of the most crucial things to remember if an earthquake occurs unexpectedly…

  • When you’re driving – If an earthquake strikes, find a safe location to pull over and stop. Make sure you don’t stop in front of a light pole, electricity lines, trees, or anything else that could fall on your car. Put your flashers on and your parking brake on. Most earthquakes endure between a few seconds and a minute. So, unless the road has been damaged, you should be able to continue driving soon.
  • When you’re outside – When you’re outside, keep your distance from towering buildings. If you’re at home, move to an open place and stay there. Once the quake has begun, do not return home. If you’re in the city and have the option, relocate to the center of the roadway and keep as low as possible. If you’re in a park, get low to the ground and stay put.
  • Whether at home or at work – If you’re at home, crawl beneath a table; if you’re at work, crawl under your desk. If there isn’t a table or desk accessible, get low to the ground next to a strong wall in the middle of the house or office building. If you are in a store and there is no place to hide, walk outside if possible and get away from the building. Otherwise, keep put, get low to the ground, and grab something.
    • If you are in an office building and are waiting for an elevator when the earthquake occurs, do not enter the elevator when it arrives! Take the steps if you need to leave the building. Stay cool if you see people evacuating around you. Don’t flee. It only takes one person to trip and fall for people to be trampled.
  • When you have little children with you – If you are outside with small children, gather them close to you and get low to the ground away from buildings, light poles, power lines, billboards, or anything else that could fall on you. If you’re indoors, get them behind a table or desk, or gather them against a sturdy central wall, low to the ground.
  • When climbing in the mountains, if an earthquake happens, try to find an open spot and stay there. If possible, avoid stopping at the bottom of a hillside. If you must wait it out on a hillside, keep an eye out for falling boulders and stones, landslides, and if it’s winter, avalanches.
  • When using the restroom – If an earthquake occurs while you are on the toilet or in the shower, the best thing to do is to remain in the bathroom, drop to the floor, and grab anything (yes, the toilet will do). The most essential thing is that you live. You can be concerned about your pride and any subsequent cleansing. You’ll also have a good story to tell your buddies.

The Aftermath of an Earthquake Can Be Chaotic

Following an earthquake, there will be a significant degree of turmoil and confusion. When the shaking stops, leave the structure and go somewhere open. Avoid returning to structures since aftershocks are possible. If you are confined within a structure, try to move as little as possible. You can call or text for assistance if you have a cell phone. Relay your location and request that authorities contact you for assistance. Look for a pipe or other hard object that you can tap against a wall or floor. This can assist rescue teams in locating your whereabouts. Once you’re free, you should be cautious of your surroundings. City water is frequently contaminated, and power lines may be down. Here are some additional tips that you can if you’re stuck in a bad situation.

  • Make noise – First and foremost, if you are trapped by falling debris, cry for aid or knock on pipes or other suitable surfaces to warn rescuers of your location. If you are unable to call out but have access to your phone, you can use it to draw attention even if there is no service. You can, for example, go into the ringtone settings and try out different ones. The sounds might be heard by someone.
  • Perform a head count – If you survived and are otherwise unharmed, take a head count to confirm that everyone who was with you when the earthquake occurred is accounted for.
  • Stay calm and listen carefully if your home has been harmed and someone is missing. They could be yelling for aid or making a lot of noise to gain your attention.
  • Examine for injuries – Examine yourself and anyone else with you for injuries. If someone is injured, get your first aid equipment out and treat the injuries as best you can.
  • Call 9-1-1 if someone is confined or critically injured (and you can receive a signal).
  • Assess the situation – After you’ve accounted for everyone and handled any injuries, you should have a good idea of the scope of the tragedy. If the TV isn’t working, pull out the Baofeng and listen to NOAA Weather Radio for important information. Furthermore, most cellphones now include the option to enable WEAs, or Wireless Emergency Alerts. Enabling this can significantly improve the quantity of information available to you.
  • Gather emergency supplies – Depending on the severity of the crisis, you may need to stay in your home for several days. If this is the case, you may need to draw on your emergency food, water, and other supplies to keep everyone nourished and cared for while you wait for relief.
  • If you are unable to stay in your home, gather your bug-out bag, Baofeng radio(s), and pistol and head for the nearest shelter. If you have trouble finding an official shelter, your bug-out bag supplies will keep you going until you do.

Because of earthquakes, there is also a risk of flooding and perhaps tsunamis. Examine the water, gas, and electric lines for any damage. Turn off the valves if any are damaged. Look for the odor of gas. If you smell it, immediately open all windows and doors, leave, and notify the authorities. Maintain vigilance and pay attention to emergency messages. Earthquakes are a stark reminder of the earth’s enormous power in a matter of seconds. It also serves as a reminder that preparedness and education are our strongest weapons.


Surviving a major earthquake, like so many other things in life, is heavily dependent on preparation. You and your loved ones will have a better chance of survival if you are well prepared, have stockpiles of essential supplies, know how to react when an earthquake strikes, and what to do once the Earth stops shaking. If you like this article about how to survive an earthquake please dont forget to visit out other articles like how to survive in the wild.

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