What to do after an earthquake?

A road torn up by an earthquake.

Natural disasters are inevitable. The best defense is to plan ahead.


Immediately following an earthquake you should:

  • Be prepared for aftershocks.
  • Check for injuries. Administer first aid if necessary.
  • Avoid broken glass.
  • Check for fire. Take appropriate action.
  • Check gas, water and electric lines. If damage has occurred shut off the service. If there is a gas leak, don't use matches, flashlights, appliances or electric switches. Open windows and report the leak to the gas company.
  • Replace all telephone receivers and use the phone for emergency calls only.
  • Watch or listen to emergency broadcast stations on battery-powered radios or televisions. Listen for bulletins.
  • Stay away from damaged buildings.

It's best to take precautions now before an earthquake strikes to ensure that you and your family can recover quickly and keep everyone safe in the process. Remember, it can take up to three days for electricity, drinking water and local phone service to be restored. By taking these steps TODAY you can alleviate some of the trauma involved with disaster recovery – and most importantly, you may save lives by having a recovery plan in place.

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