What to Do During, After & Before an Earthquake?
59% of India is vulnerable to earthquakes. Hence, a proper understanding of the do's and don’ts of earthquakes is essential to protect yourself and your valuable belongings during such a catastrophe.
Keep scrolling to find out what to do during an earthquake and what to avoid to ensure safety.
What to Do During an Earthquake?
It is ideal to minimise your movements and stay indoors as far as possible till you realise that it is safe to exit. Take a look at what to do during an earthquake.
If you are wondering, "what should one do if an earthquake occurs," follow the actionable steps mentioned below:'
When You Are Indoors
- Immediately drop to the ground. Reach a safe place such as under a table. If you don't find any table near you, don't fret. Crouch at a corner of the building and cover your face and head with your arms.
- Stay under any sturdy furniture, corner or inner door of your building.
When You Are Outside
- If you are outside, remain at the place where you are till the tremor stops. Although, move aside from trees, buildings or electrical connections.
- If you are travelling in a car during an earthquake, stop immediately and remain in your vehicle. Proceed only when the earthquake stops.
If You Are Trapped Under Debris
- If you are trapped under debris, make sure not to light a match to avoid fire risks.
- Stay calm and do not move.
- Tap on a metal or whistle if available to help rescuers locate you. Shout only as a last resort. If you shout, you may inhale a large amount of dust which can be dangerous.
Things to Do in Case of Evacuation When Earthquakes Occur
Follow the important pointers in case you need to evacuate from an area -
- If you need to vacate your residence, contact rescuers explaining where you are going.
- Take your emergency survival kit with you if you vacate your building. Make sure that you carry all the necessary items in it.
Things Not to Do During an Earthquake
- Do not remain close to windows, glass, walls or anything that can fall during an earthquake.
- Do not move till the tremor stops.
- Avoid bridges and roads damaged by an earthquake.
What to Do After an Earthquake?
Follow the steps mentioned below after an earthquake -
- Control fire, if any.
- Check for any defects in your house's or your area's electrical wirings or water supply lines.
- Pay attention to the updates or news from the radio.
- Clean any chemical or other flammable products to avoid any inconvenience.
- Follow every Public safety instruction to maintain safety.
Things Not to Do After an Earthquake
- Be prepared for aftershocks, as this may occur after an earthquake. Therefore, do not enter any damaged building. It is because aftershocks may further damage the structure, and the building may collapse.
- Do not use your car to move from one place to another as it is not safe. Also, it may intervene in relief and rescue operations as they need a clear road for delivering quick service.
What to Do Before an Earthquake?
We cannot avoid natural calamity. However, preparedness is the key to keeping yourself safe. Listed below are certain things to do before an earthquake -
- Repair any structural defects in your house's ceilings.
- Consider BIS codes relevant to your residential area to maintain building standards.
- Store fragile items such as glass, bottled food in lower and closed cabinets.
- Fix the fan or lights if not appropriately attached to the wall.
- Fix any defective electrical wiring and leakage in the gas connection to prevent the risk of fire. Also, tightly bolt your house's water heaters and LPG cylinders to the walls.
- Keep flammable products safely on closed and bottom shelves.
- Keep the emergency contact numbers of hospitals and doctors handy.
- Locate any sturdy places indoors and outdoors. This includes:
- Outdoors – Stay away from trees, buildings, flyovers, bridges and electrical lines.
- Indoors – Move under any strong table and stay away from glass, windows, furniture and bookcases.
- Educate yourself and your family members about the preventive measures.
Other preventive measures include -
- Keep an emergency kit handy. Your emergency kit must include a radio, torch with additional batteries. Keep other items such as a first aid kit, emergency food and medicines.
- Help your community by printing emergency contact details of hospitals and local services in newspapers.
- Develop an emergency communication plan for your family. It is effective after an earthquake to reunite at a place if separated. Else, take help from a friend to act as a "family contact" after an earthquake. Make sure that your family members remember his/her name, address and contact number.
Things Not to Do Before an Earthquake
- Do not keep items such as heavy pictures and mirrors over your beds or sitting areas of your house.
- Do not keep heavy objects on the upper shelves.
- Don't ignore defective shelves on your walls. Attach it securely to prevent them from falling.
- Do not panic and spread rumours.
In the last 15 years, India faced nearly 10 significant earthquakes. Hence, educating yourself about what to do during an earthquake is essential to stay safe.