What to do in an earthquake

Hilary Anderson, MA American Red Cross, shares advice on what to do in an earthquake in order to stay safe when an earthquake happens
What To Do In An Earthquake To Stay Safe - Kids In The House
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What to do in an earthquake

When the earthquake happens, you want to "drop, cover, and hold on"--no matter where you are. We don't anticipate earthquakes lasting very long--on average, they last about a minute--so you're not going to get very far; you want to protect yourselves. The ground is not going to open up and swallow you whole during an earthquake, but flying objects absolutely will happen, so you protect yourself--your head, your neck--these are the most important things for you to protect. You drop--find a sturdy piece of furniture; Cover--your neck, your head; and hold onto the table, because it's going to move around as much as you are. A long time ago, we were told to run for doorways; in fact, during the Northridge earthquake, I was in a doorway--hit by a door--which may have triggered this fabulous career you see here today. The good thing about preparedness is that we get better at it. We learn better and new things, so emergency responders all now say, "'Drop, cover, and hold on'--find a sturdy piece of furniture, and protect yourself to ride out the shaking while you've got it." Now, if the earthquake happens when you're outside--what you're avoiding, once again, are those flying objects. The best place in the world to probably be during an earthquake is a big open soccer field. You're trying avoid those power lines, trees--anything that could fall, shake or hurt you. You drop to the ground where are, cover your head and your neck--just like you would underneath a piece of furniture, and hold on. You wait for the shaking to stop. You don't go too far. You really want to stay where you are because running, moving around during the shaking, is going to cause a lot of damage. You could fall, injure yourself--you don't want to go down stairs or anything like that. We avoid those flying objects, we stay where we are, and we wait for the shaking to stop. Be very aware of aftershocks; after an earthquake, aftershocks are going to happen. We want to be aware of those aftershocks, because they're going to happen following an earthquake. You want to do the same thing--drop where you are, cover, and hold on, wait for the shaking to stop, and then move ahead. You're going to want to be super aware of debris, broken objects--things that are going to happen during an earthquake that might make your situation or the area that you're in a little bit more dangerous. If you're outside or you're inside--drop, cover, hold on, wait for the shaking to stop, and then be aware of that debris and that damage that could cause harm. Be super careful; look around your area, and check it out to make sure that you're being cautious. You want to stay safe, whether the shaking's happening or not.

Hilary Anderson, MA American Red Cross, shares advice on what to do in an earthquake in order to stay safe when an earthquake happens


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Hilary Anderson, MA

American Red Cross

Hilary Anderson has been with the American Red Cross for the past three and a half years as a volunteer and staff member in positions with communications, disaster relief, development and volunteer services. As the Preparedness and Resiliency Manager, her primary responsibility is the delivery of educational programming across the Los Angeles region to get individuals, schools, businesses and organizations prepared for a disaster. As a dog owner, she also hopes to get your pets ready too! Hilary has a master’s degree in International Policy Studies with an emphasis in humanitarian assistance as well as a bachelor’s degree in International Relations, Journalism and German. She has worked for non-profits abroad in Israel, Bolivia and Germany focusing on grant writing, youth and education and also feeding and sheltering. 

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