Why earthquake safety preventing measures should be taken long before any earthquake begins, there are certain rules you need to obey while the effective shaking takes place. Do not count on advice that you may have heard from anecdotal sources. When an earthquake is very violent, you cannot afford taking chances. Here are the emergency steps experts recommend, as part of the Drop, Cover and Hold On procedure.
When an earthquake starts, the shaking can be so violent that it can knock you down. You can prevent this from happening by dropping to your arms and knees as soon as you feel the first shakes. While this may seem like an exaggeration to you, the truth is that you have much more stability if you are helping yourself with both arms and legs. The intensity of the earthquake is likely to be more powerful than you imagine, and holding yourself steady on both your feet may be harder to achieve.
The second step you need to undertake when an earthquake starts is to cover your head, neck, and body to protect them from injury. If you cannot find a proper place to hide your entire body, such as a desk or a sturdy table, at least protect your head and neck. Specialists recommend that you cover your head and neck with your arms, if there is no other solution. In case there is no sturdy furniture to hide yourself under, you can seek shelter next to a wall, near the furniture, but make sure that this is not tall enough, as it may fall over you and cause you severe injuries. Another reason for covering your most sensitive parts is to avoid impact with objects falling or flying around because of the earthquake.
The third part of the emergency procedure now supported by specialists is to hold on to your shelter, or to your head and neck. It is very important to stick to the desk or table you are under, as your shelter is shaken by the earthquake waves, to avoid any injuries.
If you are in bed
In case the earthquake starts while you are sleeping, the first thing you should do is to grab a pillow and protect your face. Do not roll on the floor, as there may be broken glass and sharp objects around.
If you are outside
In case that it is impossible for you to follow the Drop, Cover and Hold On procedure, as you are outside, you must keep in mind several rules. Stay away from buildings, as their façade can begin to crumble and fall over you. Keep away from power lines, as well, to avoid being electrocuted. Also, stay away from cars, other vehicles, sign posts and other objects that may end up falling over you.
If you are driving
As soon as the earthquake begins, pull over and remain in the car. Under the circumstances, the car can protect you from falling objects. If something heavy lands on the car, or an electrical wire, stay in the car until someone comes rescuing you.
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