How to protect yourself during an earthquake: updated instructions
On Wednesday, July 28, Alaska was hit by the most powerful earthquake in 57 years magnitude 8,2. In addition, it was followed by several strong aftershocks of varying power, reaching 6 points. We've compiled guidelines to help you minimize earthquake injury.
Safety experts are constantly reviewing the rules for responding to earthquakes and have already made some adjustments to them, which we summarize below.
1 Tip: If you are sitting at a table, climb under it and cover your head there with your hands.
If you are far from the table, do not try to run somewhere to find it. In this case, just kneel down where you are and cover your head with your hands.
What for? Because you put yourself in danger when you try to find a table or other hiding place. During an earthquake, a great danger comes from falling objects - cabinets, TVs, microwave ovens. They can fall, for example, on your head and kill you.
2 Tip: Cover your head, even if you can't get to the table, or while you get to it
Try to cover your head and neck with your hands while you crawl to the table. If the table is far away, still keep your head and neck protected and try to find a wall where there is no window for greater security.
3 Tip: Hold the table leg with one hand and cover the neck and head with the other.
It is necessary to hold on to the table leg so that during an earthquake it does not move away from you and leave you unprotected. To be safe, hold your head with your other hand to protect it from a possible blow.
Why not run out of the building during an earthquake?
Seismologist Lucy Jones says that people on the outside can be hurt more than those in the building. Falling balconies and facades can lead to more casualties. For those left inside, façade collapses are not as dangerous as the buildings are largely resilient.
For example, during the 2003 earthquake, two women ran out of a clothing store and were crushed by falling bricks and plaster. It was later established that if they had stayed inside, they would have survived.
During the deadly earthquake in New Zealand in 2011, one person was faced with a choice - to hide under a table or run out into the street. He chose the first option and survived. Later, the man said that if he decided to flee, he probably died under the rubble.
What if the building collapses?
During an earthquake, there is no time to think long and observe whether a building is collapsing or not. Everything happens so fast that time is only enough to sit down and cover your head.
Remember that even when a building collapses, search and rescue teams scour all the ruined places and often find survivors under the rubble.
On the subject: How to survive in case of emergency in a high-rise building
What to do if you are outside the building or not near the table?
If an earthquake caught you in bed
Lie face down to protect vital organs. Cover your head and neck with a pillow and keep your hands as close to your head as possible until the tremors stop.
In the shop
Sit where you are and cover your head with your hands. If you have a person in a wheelchair next to you, you need to lock its wheels.
In the open area
Move away from power lines, buildings, cars, and other hazards. Drooping down and covering your head, you protect yourself from flying objects.
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On the beach or under the dam
Sit down and cover your head with your hands. When the tremors stop, climb up the hill, because a tsunami may follow.
Behind the wheel
Park on the side of the road and use the handbrake, which locks all four wheels. Avoid overpasses, bridges, power lines, signs and other hazards.
In the theater or at the stadium
Sit on the ground in front of the seat, or bend over as far as you can. Then, cover your head with your hands and hold onto your neck until the tremors stop.
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