Earthquakes and 27 Ways to Survive Them

Earthquakes and hurricanes are dominating the headlines lately. And, although there’s some speculation on the cause of them, one thing is for sure: you’ll need to know how to survive them.

Did you know that about 50% of Americans live in an earthquake zone? This, coupled with the fact that there are new fault lines consistently popping up, is a very sobering reality for our nation to face.

However, although we can’t force the earthquakes to stop happening, there is something that is still in our control: our preparation for them.

It is up to US to decide how well we prepare (or don’t) for an earthquake. And our utter survival depends on it. Who knows…your home town could next. That’s why every American needs to read these survival tips on…

Earthquakes and 27 Ways to Survive Them

1 – Reinforce The Foundation

Check to make sure your entire home is built securely on its foundation. If there are weak spots, this is a sign of trouble. Reinforce the crawl space and add posts and piers if needed to make sure your house is sturdy when the earth moves.

2 – Use The Fireproof Safe

Documents such as birth certificates, deeds, and passports need to be kept safe – especially when an earthquake hits. Keep these in a fireproof safe. Make sure to also include policy numbers for insurances you have, such as renter’s, auto, and homeowners.

3 – Don’t Drink The Tap Water

Tap water can easily contain pollutants and contaminants after an earthquake, especially if the grid is down. Drink bottles of water and pouches of emergency water until you’re told it’s safe to do otherwise.

4 – Check For The Earthquake Button

Avoid elevators at all costs during an earthquake. However, if you find yourself in an elevator, scan it for an earthquake button. The doors should open immediately. If there’s no earthquake button, press the button for the floor closest to you and get out immediately.

5 – Pay Attention To The Radio

AM stations will likely still be working, so make sure to tune into these for more information about emergency notifications.

6 – Run Drills

Before an earthquake hits, make sure to find all the exit routes out of the home/building. Make an emergency plan for you and the rest of the group, and then practice running drills to get out of the building. The faster you can get out, the better. Plus, the more you practice, the less likely you’ll be stuck in panic when an earthquake actually hits.

7 – Select A Point Of Contact

When an earthquake hits, it’s likely you and the rest of your group will be scattered, and left to fend for yourselves. If you can, call or text someone outside of the area to let them know you’re safe. That way, someone knows the status of the individuals in your group.

8 – Brace Your Furniture

Anchor your tall dressers, bookshelves, hutches and more to the wall (or find other ways to stabilize them). This will help ensure they don’t fall on top of you in an earthquake.

9 – Store The Essentials

Having an earthquake kit on hand is imperative to your survival if one hits. Some ideas of what to include in the kit include (but are not limited to):

  • First-aid Kit
  • Duct Tape
  • Emergency Flashlights
  • Manual Can Opener
  • Canned Food
  • Pouches or Bottles of Emergency Water
  • Dust Masks
  • Emergency Radio
  • Blankets
  • Dry Foods (Rice, Beans, Jerky, etc.)
  • A Water Purification System
  • Solar Lanterns
  • Batteries
  • Warm Clothing (in case the earthquake happens in the winter)
10 – Stay In Bed

If you find yourself in bed when an earthquake hits, stay in bed. This may seem counterintuitive, but trying to get out puts you at risk of injury. Instead, get under the covers and put them (and some pillows) over your head for protection.

11 – Avoid Brick and Cement Buildings

These buildings can easily crumble during an aftershock. Avoid these at all costs until you’re sure the earthquake and its effects are over.

12 – Stay Low On The Ground

It may seem like a good idea to run through the building, but this is actually not the best idea. That’s because the force of the earthquake can knock you down, thereby potentially causing serious injury. Instead, get on your hands and knees and crawl from location to location. Therefore, if the quake knocks you over, you’ll be closer to the ground and the fall won’t hurt near as badly.

13 – Crawl Under A Table

If there’s a table or desk near you, crawl under it for protection from falling debris.

14 – Register Your Name

Survivors of an earthquake can register their name with the Red Cross. The Red Cross will then add the names to their list of survivors, which can help put friends and family members at ease.

15 – Stop The Car

If you’re driving when an earthquake occurs, pull over immediately. However, you need to be smart about where you stop. If possible, don’t park next to a building, since it may come crashing on top of you. Clearings and open areas are best.

16 – Remove The Decor Above The Bed

Many people have hanging mirrors, pictures, or other decorations above the bed. However, these can easily fall off the wall and land right on your head should an earthquake hit when you’re in bed. Be sure to remove these now so you won’t be sorry later.

17 – Use That Stockpile

If you’re a prepper, you likely have a stockpile of survival food and emergency water ready to go. Now’s the perfect time to dig into that supply. If you don’t have a stockpile, avoid foods that were open or out at the time of the earthquake (this can expose them to falling debris). Go with pre-packaged or canned food when in doubt.

If you’re at home with no stockpile, you can likely eat food from your fridge if the power has been out less than two hours. Food in your freezer should also be safe as long as the power hasn’t been off for longer than 18 hours.

18 – Grab Any Protection You Can

Anything is better than nothing when it comes to protection. Grab a book, a blanket, anything you can find to cover your head and body with when the earthquake hits.

19 – Grab The Fire Extinguisher

Chances are there will be a fire whenever the earthquake occurs. Know where the closest fire extinguisher is and use it if possible to put out the flames. This simple act can easily save lives.

20 – Move To The Center Of The Room

When an earthquake hits, you’ll want to be as far away from windows, mirrors and other glass objects as possible. Run into the middle of the house/building for safety.

21 – Store The Stockpile In Buckets

Once you have a stockpile of earthquake essentials (see #9) you’ll need to store them in sturdy and durable red 5-gallon buckets. Doing this will help protect your supplies from the falling debris and possible flooding. It also makes the supplies easy to bring along with you as you move. Plus the bright red color will help make these easy to locate if you have to set them down.

22 – Avoid Using Candles, Lighters, and Open Flames

This is in case there’s a ruptured gas line nearby.

23 – Avoid Puddles By Power Lines

Avoid walking near power lines that are live, and avoid stepping into puddles near them. If you’re not sure if a power line is live or not, stay away.

24 – Label The Shut-Offs

Label your main shut-off valves for your home’s/building’s water, electric, and gas. Then take the proper tool for the gas shut off and hang it close-by. Tell everyone in the home/building where it is so they know where to go when the earthquake hits.

25 – Pitch A Tent

If you’re stuck outside and have a tarp and some paracord or rope with you, you can make your own shelter. This is really helpful when protecting yourself from debris. Just make sure not to pitch it next to any buildings.

26 – Call Your Insurance Company

After the earthquake is over, take photos of the damage to your house and car, and send them to your insurance provider ASAP.

27 – Lock Your Wheelchair

If you are wheelchair-bound, lock the wheels and put your head between your knees. Cover your head with your arms and brace yourself.