Earthquake Safety Measures
Tips and Insights
September 23, 2020

Often, the worst earthquake-related injuries happen when people are struck by falling debris. Moving around, trying to exit buildings and general panic could lead to a higher likelihood of injury. Remaining calm and following some simple guidelines can help reduce the potential for injury from these unpredictable events.

If Inside:

  • Get on the floor and take cover under a sturdy table or desk, or move to an interior corner.
  • Cover your face and head to protect from debris or flying glass.
  • Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, or anything that could fall.
  • Remain inside until all movement stops and it is safe to go outside.
  • Understand that the electricity may go out and sprinkler systems and fire alarms may activate.
  • Never use the elevators.

If Driving a Vehicle:

  • Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle.
  • Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses and power lines.
  • Be prepared to wait as emergency crews react, roads are cleared, and roadway structures are evaluated for safety.

If Outside:

  • Stay outside, as running towards or entering a building exposes you to falling debris.
  • Move away from buildings, walls, streetlights and power lines.
  • Stay away from downed power lines; always assume they are live.
  • Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops.

Immediately After the Earthquake:

  • Remain calm and reassure those around you.
  • Identify those with injuries so first aid can be provided.
  • Beware of aftershocks and don’t try to exit until all motion has ceased.
  • Exit the building carefully, inspecting for damage as you go.
  • Turn off all equipment.
  • Do not light matches.
  • If trapped, avoid yelling and don’t kick up dust to avoid inhaling harmful particles in the air; remain calm and tap on pipes or other objects to attract attention.

This article is provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute and is not intended to take the place of legal or risk management advice. Readers should consult their own counsel or other representatives for any such advice. Any and all external websites or sources referred to herein are for informational purposes only and are not affiliated with or endorsed by OneBeacon Insurance Group. OneBeacon Insurance Group hereby disclaims any and all liability arising out of the information contained herein.