Before An Earthquake

Before An Earthquake

The following information will help you prepare NOW for an earthquake. Don’t hesitate and put things off for “later”. Scientists are working hard to predict when earthquakes occur. Unfortunately, they can’t yet so the best thing we can do is prepare ourselves before it even happens. Education and preparation will greatly increase your chance of survival after a devastating earthquake so read the following to know what to do before an earthquake.


Earthquake Kit

Everyone should have an earthquake kit or disaster supplies. Having one or not may be a matter of life or death. Will you survive without food or water when the fridge is crushed and water pipes empty? Will you survive without a blanket when there’s no electricity or heating to keep you from freezing? Will you survive if you’ve been badly injured and have no first aid kit? Other than these life threatening questions, a good earthquake kit may have things like a shovel for digging yourself out, candles or flashlight to help you see in the dark, radio to keep tabs on what’s going in the outside world and other handy things to help you if you become trapped. An earthquake kit is not only for your home. There are earthquake kits specifically made for your car or office. Make sure everyone knows where it is located. Experts recommend getting supplies to help you survive without outside assistance for at least 3 days following the earthquake.

Want to build your own? Check out the link below.

Top 10 Categories for Your Earthquake Kit Checklist

Best Emergency Radio/Flashlight for Your Earthquake Kit

Best Emergency Food That Tastes Great!

LifeStraw – Makes Dirty Water Safe to Drink!


Practice Drills

Earthquake DrillSome of you might remember doing these back in grade school where the alarm rings and everyone is supposed to go under their desks while you hear the sound of shaking and rumbling on the PA system. Well, it’s not only for children. Most workplaces have annual practice drills to ensure that their employees know what to do during an earthquake and where to meet after the earthquake to make sure everyone is accounted for. You should also do practice drills with your family at home. Make sure everyone knows what to do. It’s very hard to stay calm and think clearly when an earthquake hits. Doing regular practice drills will help you react accordingly during a panicked state.

Drop Cover Hold OnYou might have heard the popular phrase “Stop, Drop, and Roll” which you are supposed to do in case you ever catch on fire to put the flames out. Well, earthquake safety has one too! It’s DROP, COVER, HOLD ON!

  • DROP – drop down to your hands and knees to prevent injury from the earthquake knocking you down.
  • COVER – take cover under a sturdy desk or table. If there isn’t one near you, cover your face and head with your arms. Falling or flying objects are the most common causes of injury.
  • HOLD ON – hold on to whatever is protecting you. The ground can shake violently causing a desk to move away and make you unprotected.

Secure Heavy Objects

Most deaths and injuries are caused by parts of the building collapsing or heavy objects such as bookcases and cabinets. You should identify these dangerous objects and ensure they are secure or even move them away from beds or sofas now to help prevent any injury in advance.

10 Easy Ways to Earthquake Proof Your Home

Evacuation Plans

Evacuation PlanAfter an earthquake you may have to evacuate if the building is severely damaged to prevent it from collapsing on you. Make a floor plan and identify safe spots in every room (under desks, tables, etc) so you can protect yourself no matter where you are. Mark where your earthquake kit, emergency supplies, fire extinguishers, etc are and ensure everyone knows where they are located as well as utility shutoffs (gas, water, electricity) to prevent fire, flooding, or electric shock. Establish an outdoor meeting place where everyone will meet after the earthquake to make sure everyone is accounted for. Most hotels, conference halls, and offices has an evacuation plan posted on the wall. Make sure you know where the closest exits are.


Write Down Important Information

Write Down Important InformationWrite down a list of important information like addresses, telephone numbers, and evacuation sites for all the places your family members go to often (home, work, school). This will help in contacting them if they are not with you during the earthquake. Also make copies of essential documents such as ID’s, social security cards, wills, and insurance policies which will be useful after the earthquake. A list and photos of your household inventory will help with insurance claims down the road.

Next: Read about What to do DURING an Earthquake




  1. Monica

    Hi Andy, this is a great article to read! I’m from Vancouver and have family there. I really do believe people should be prepared for the ‘big’ one or any quakes… many lives can be saved and serious injuries minimized and prevented by taking steps like what you have written.

    Thank you for his information and I will also let my family know about your site!

    1. Andy

      Thanks Monica!
      I’m from Vancouver as well so hopefully we’ll all be safe and prepared.

  2. claudeth

    Dear Andy, I love your site. It is informational and easy to follow. The pictures are bold and in themselves gives good information. Keep up the good work and success will eventually be yours. I think you have the right idea.

    1. Andy

      Thank you so much! I appreciate it.

  3. Elliot

    I like your website for the good information it contents about preparedness in an eventual earthquake. You want to help all of us by showing us how to do it efficiently.Great job! I wish you success upon success.

    1. Andy

      Thanks Elliot!
      Yes, I’m trying to spread awareness so more people will know what to do an be safe. Hopefully you learned something here as well.

  4. Allison

    What a great page and website. I never actually think about preparing myself for an Earthquake because they don’t happen very often where I am from. But, everyone should definitely be more prepared than not. I remember the drills in school. We should still practice them at work to be in the habit of doing them. Evacuation plans are key as with any disaster that happens whether it is a fire, hurricane, tornado, flood, or Earthquake. I loved this post. I’m definitely interested in looking more into these kits. They include crucial items and materials that I wouldn’t have considered on my own. Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Andy

      Thanks Allison for your comment! Yeah, it’s definitely important to keep practicing drills so we know what to do in the case of a disaster. The more we practice the more quickly we can react and keep ourselves safe. You’re right, an evacuation plan would work for almost any disaster so it’s a good idea to have one.

  5. Yvonne

    Hi Andy,

    This is such useful information to help people be prepared in case of an earthquake. To be honest, it has never crossed my mind to prepare for such a scenario. Identifying safe spots in a building is really crucial as most people will panic in an earthquake and might not have enough time to think clearly.

    Regarding ‘hold on’, what if the nearest object to hold on to is a furniture that is not fixed to the ground? Won’t it also move in an earthquake? Should we hold on to that or find something else to hold on to?


    1. Andy

      Thanks Yvonne for your comment. Yes, identifying safe spots ahead of time is very important so you’ll be able to reach quickly instead of hesitating and wasting crucial seconds.

      By “Hold On” it means that once you go under a desk or something sturdy and stable, you should hold on to it regardless of whether it’s fixed to the ground or not. This is because if the earthquake is strong enough the vibrations will make the object shake away from you leaving you vulnerable and unprotected. By holding on it ensures that it will keep you covered and protected. The “Hold On” is more for keeping you protected than to keep yourself stable since you are already on the ground.


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