How To Prepare for An Earthquake?

Earthquake Safety Tips and Preparedness

How To Prepare for An Earthquake?

An earthquake is a natural calamity caused due to the unexpected release of energy from the core of Earth; This energy creates seismic waves, due to which the surface of Earth starts shaking. These waves range from weak to strong. Sometimes these waves are extremely low that they cannot be felt on the crust of Earth. Still, some other waves are mighty enough to cause heavy destruction on Earth’s surface. The seismic activity of an area describes the frequency and type of earthquake.


An earthquake hazard can be mapped by understanding the magnitude, locations, frequency of earthquake ground shaking, and the properties of rocks and sediments through which earthquake waves flow.

Did you know? A Tsunami is a type of earthquake that happens underwater. And about 80% of tsunamis occur in rings of fire within the Pacific Ocean.

An earthquake can be caused by any frequency (low to high) depending on the seismic activity. Still, the important thing is to prepare for it. You can prepare for earthquake-like natural calamity by doing simple homework.

In this article, we will discuss the preparations that we can follow to handle an earthquake.

How to Prepare for An Earthquake?

An earthquake happens without any prior notification. It is pretty tough to predict when a severe earthquake will happen. However, we can do some preparations in advance to face the earthquake.

We can minimize the earthquake’s impact to some extent with proper planning. Usually, the preparation for an earthquake means designing the constructions in such a way that they can resist this natural calamity. Still, from an individual’s perspective, preparation for an earthquake means preparations for the family and close ones to survive the earthquake.


There are multiple earthquake preparedness techniques to protect your home, your family, and your pets and animals.

How to Prepare Before an Earthquake?

Based on a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), there were about 750,000 deaths due to earthquakes from 1998 to 2017. And that makes us collect more information about earthquakes.

Earthquake hits all of a sudden and affects thousands of people. With advanced preparations, you can reduce the risk involved with the earthquake. You can follow the local seismic building standards to minimize the effects of an earthquake. However, you can also go through the important tips given below to prepare for an earthquake before it happens.

Identify The Hazards to Secure Your Home

  1. You can fix the shelves securely to the walls of your home.
  2. Make sure you put the weighty things on lower shelves.
  3. You can keep the breakable things in lower cabinets and make sure the cabinets are properly latched.
  4. Avoid hanging breakable objects such as mirrors near your bed or couch.
  5. Repair all the defective electric settings and leakage in gas connections (if any). This can increase the risk of fire during an earthquake.
  6. Learning to shut off the gas valve and keeping a ranch handy could further avoid dangerous situations.
  7. You can store the pesticides and flammable products (if any) carefully in closed cabinets with properly latched.
  8. Further, take care of water leakage or set a professional fixing beforehand.
  9. It is advised to install solid latches or bolts on cabinets.
  10. Also, you can anchor top-heavy, freestanding, and tall furniture like bookshelves.
  11. If you plan to construct a new building, keep an eye on the seismic building standards and land use codes.

Check For the Safe Places

  1. One of the best options is a heavy furniture item such as a table.
  2. Find a safe place away from the window where window glass may smash. Try to find a place away from walls where mirrors or pictures are hung, or any other heavy furniture that can fall.
  3. If you are outside your home, then settle away from buildings, trees, heavy electric lines, etc.

Teach Your Family About How to Prepare for An Earthquake

  1. You can go through a general information manual about protecting your family and property from the earthquake.
  2. Discuss the emergencies and what to do at a specific moment. This will help younger members reduce fear and improve their ability to tackle the stress.
  3. Further, pre-checking the workplace, day-care, school, or other institutions is an effective way to understand their emergency plans for earthquakes.
  4. You can teach your kids and even the elder persons of your family about the emergency contact numbers (such as fire department, police, etc.) and when to contact these numbers in case of emergency.

Check For Emergency Supply

  1. First-aid kit.
  2. Necessary medicines.
  3. Flashlight & spare batteries.
  4. Food and water for emergency.
  5. Cash & credit cards for emergency usage etc.

Store The Crucial Documents & Contacts Properly

  1. You should keep your important documents and contact carefully.
  2. You can also make copies of your important documents and contracts or can also scan these documents and save them online. Scanning documents is an excellent option to protect your documents during an earthquake.

Take Proper Care of Your Pets

  1. If you have to move to a safer place during the earthquake, you can carry your pets.
  2. Also, carry the necessary medicines for your pet.
  3. Be ready with the contact details of veterinarians to contact in case of any assistance.
  4. Overall, prepare a pet emergency kit and keep it with yourself.

Get Ready with An Emergency Plan to Reunite After the Earthquake

  1. Be ready with a plan to communicate with your family members in case they separated during the natural calamity of the earthquake. For example – if you are at the office.
  2. Always be ready with the contact number and address of a relative living out of the station, and make sure that every member of your family knows the details of this relative.

How to Survive During an Earthquake?

Here are some essential preparation tips you can follow to protect yourself and your family during an earthquake.

Do Not Panic During the Earthquake

During an earthquake, the first and most important thing is “do not panic.” Be calm during the earthquake. Try to be in a safer place until the shaking stops. You can also listen to the radio to get the necessary updates.

Also, make sure you are moving as little as possible. This is because most injuries happen if a person moves all around while the earth is shaking. Be protective of your head and torso.

Drop, Cover & Hold Until the Shaking Stops

It will help if you try to follow this rule to stay safe – Drop, over & Hold. You need to drop the ground, find heavy furniture to cover yourself, and hold on until the earthquake ends up.

Remaining at the indoor place is a good option before ensuring that the exit is on the safer side. Be aware of the sprinkling systems, smoke alarms, and gas leakage. If you can smell gas, move far to a safe site.

When you are outside, be aware of streetlights, power lines, trees, and buildings nearby. Please stay away from them and hide in a safe place. While inside a vehicle, stop the car near a plane space and avoid damaged ramps and bridges. Keep quiet inside and tighten the seat belt.

Taking care of debris and rock falling at a mountainous location is critical.

How To Recover After An Earthquake?

After the earthquake stops, you should move to a safe place. Check for injuries, and do not forget to carry your emergency supply kit. Once you have assured your safety, follow the emergency plan to communicate & reunite with your family members (if separated during an earthquake). You must be calm and think peacefully after the earthquake ends up.

Four Significant Earthquakes in The Past Decade

Here are some of the most extensive earthquake scenarios in the past:

  • Off the west coast of northern Sumatra was the place of the earthquake on April 11, 2012. During this event, about 135,448 houses were severely damaged, and minor damage to 78,604 homes.
  • Another scene of the major earthquake includes the Tohoku Earthquake, which happened near the east coast of Honshu, Japan. During the incident, about 120,000 buildings were destroyed. As per their government, the financial loss was about $199 billion. By 2021, 39,000 evacuees are suffering due to property loss.
  • In 2010, there was another earthquake (Maule earthquake) cum tsunami at Maule, Chile, which caused the death of 300 people, and damaged about half a million infrastructures.
  • Nias Earthquake in Northern Sumatra, Indonesia, occurred in 2005. It caused the death of 1000 people, injured 300 others, and destroyed about 300 buildings on Nias. Various other damages happened in other locations like Simeulue, Banyak, and Meulaboh areas.

In the above article, we have studied that an earthquake can happen anywhere, anytime, and we must know how to prepare for an earthquake so that we can save lives during emergencies.

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