What to Do During an Earthquake

Learn the essential steps to take during an earthquake to ensure your safety and the safety of others. Stay calm, drop, cover, hold on, and follow safety guidelines.


Earthquakes are a common natural disaster that can strike without warning, causing panic and chaos. Knowing what to do during an earthquake can mean the difference between life and death. In this article, we will discuss the essential steps to take when an earthquake hits.

Stay Calm

The most crucial thing to remember during an earthquake is to stay calm. Panicking can lead to poor decision-making and increase the risk of injury. Take a deep breath and try to remain as composed as possible.

Drop, Cover, and Hold On

When you feel the ground shaking, remember to drop to the ground, take cover under a sturdy piece of furniture or against an interior wall, and hold on until the shaking stops. This position can protect you from falling objects and debris.

Stay Indoors

If you are indoors during an earthquake, stay there. Avoid running outside as falling debris can pose a significant risk. Keep away from windows, mirrors, and other glass objects that can shatter.

Evacuate if Necessary

If you are in a high-rise building or near the coast during an earthquake, evacuate immediately. Follow evacuation procedures and move to a safe location away from buildings, trees, and powerlines.

Communicate with Others

After the shaking stops, check on your loved ones and neighbors. Make sure everyone is okay and provide assistance if needed. Use text messages or social media to communicate as phone lines may be overloaded.

Listen to Authorities

Follow the instructions of local authorities and emergency personnel. They will provide updates on the situation and advise on any necessary evacuation or safety measures. Stay informed through radio or news sources.

Prepare an Emergency Kit

Having an emergency kit ready can make a significant difference during an earthquake. Include essential items such as water, food, first aid supplies, flashlights, batteries, and a radio. Store the kit in a secure and accessible location.

Practice Earthquake Drills

Regularly practice earthquake drills with your family or colleagues. Knowing what to do during an earthquake can help reduce fear and confusion when the real event occurs. Develop a plan and review it periodically.

Case Study: 2011 Tohoku Earthquake

The 2011 Tohoku earthquake in Japan was a powerful magnitude 9.0 quake that triggered a devastating tsunami. Despite the immense damage and loss of life, the country’s preparedness and swift response saved many lives.

Statistics on Earthquakes

  • Earthquakes can occur anywhere in the world, but are most common along tectonic plate boundaries.
  • More than 500,000 earthquakes occur each year, with the majority being too weak to be felt.
  • Approximately 20,000 earthquakes are strong enough to be felt by people annually.


During an earthquake, it is essential to stay calm, take cover, and follow safety guidelines. By being prepared and knowing what to do, you can increase your chances of survival and protect yourself and others. Remember to stay informed and stay safe!

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