After An Earthquake

After An Earthquake

Dog RescueGet Out!

Once the shaking stops and there’s a clear and safe path out, grab your earthquake kit, leave the building and go to an open space. Try not to touch any walls or chimneys as they can crumble and fall. Remember that aftershocks may hit at anytime so the quicker you can get to open ground and away from danger, the better. Treat any injuries you, your family members, or neighbors may have and call for medical assistance.

I’m Trapped!

If you are trapped under debris, stay calm. DON’T light a match or lighter as leaking gas can cause a fire. Try not to move too much as dust will go in the air and you’ll breathe it in. Instead, cover your mouth with your clothes, handkerchief, or towel. Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can find and rescue you. You want to get people’s attention but don’t shout if you can as shouting causes you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.

Check Utilities

Dealing with problems promptly can prevent further damage and injuries.

  • Check for gas leaks but if you smell gas or hear a hissing noise, open a window and leave IMMEDIATELY! This is very dangerous as you can die from the toxic fumes and the house can explode. Turn off the main gas valve outside and call the gas company.
  • Check for electrical damage. If you see sparks or frayed wires, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker as the sparks can cause a fire.
  • If you see broken pipes and leaks, turn of the main water supply as it could cause flooding and water damage.

Insurance Policy

Take any pictures/videos of damage to your property and home and contact your insurance agent to start your claims process. Keep everything in place when you are documenting the damage and don’t move anything unless you have to. You’ll most likely need help in the recovering process so getting the claim started as soon as possible will help get you the funds to start recovering.

Listen to News
News about Earthquake

Listen to news by radio, TV, and social media for emergency information and instructions. They will inform you of the status of the city and guide you on what you should do next.

Repair HouseLearn from your Experience

Was your earthquake kit and emergency supplies adequate or is there room for improvement? Did a lot of unsecured items fall or get damaged? Maybe it’s time to secure them properly. Did your house receive damage? Maybe you can upgrade some structural weaknesses. Was your evacuation plan adequate or can you make it better and safer?

The key here is improvement. Chances are EVERYTHING wasn’t perfect so now’s the chance to to take advantage of your experience and improve things in preparation for the next earthquake. You can even share your experiences with others and help educate them about the hazards of earthquakes and the importance of preparation.


Next: Learn about Earthquake Kits


  1. ilona

    Thank you for your website, it hits a real chord as my mother lives in Christchurch and has gone through her fair share of earthquakes – I’ve watch the town I grew up in get totally flattened. They are rebuilding now but still had an earthquake again only a month ago.
    Your website is very good and I’ll be reposting and sending to friends in New Zealand. Thanks!

    1. Andy

      Yeah Christchurch was hit pretty hard back in 2011. I’m glad your mother is safe and well though.
      Hopefully they can use the information on this site to help them be prepared.

  2. Brandon Parker

    I live in Eastern Iowa which is more prone to flooding and tornados. I love the care and detail you have here. Do you have other sites for other natural disasters or are you simply the earthquake guru.

    1. Andy

      I’m solely focusing on earthquakes because I myself live in an earthquake area which is what prompted me to build this site. So I can bring awareness and preparedness to more people because the unfortunate truth is that no one is taking action and being prepared because they think “It’ll never happen to me”. I’m trying to change that thinking on person at a time with my site.

  3. Yvonne

    Thanks for all the useful tips for what to do after an earthquake. We can never predict what will happen exactly during an earthquake so it’s good to be aware of all these information. I’ve never thought of taking pictures or videos of damange after an earthquake. I think that would be really useful for insurance claims.

    1. Andy

      Yeah most people are too shocked after an earthquake to think clearly. But by knowing these things in advance will get you better prepared and know what to do.
      The photos and video is really important for insurance claims as it provides proof. If too much time has passed or you decided to do some cleanup then the damage may not look as severe as it was originally and you might not get the maximum for your claim so you should take pictures or photos before you touch anything.


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