Earthquakes can happen anywhere, at any time, and impact anyone. A strong magnitude of an earthquake can cause buildings, roads and infrastructure to collapse and get damaged. Since its occurrence is often unpredictable, it is recommended to always have preparedness measures in place.
Know your surroundings, is it located in a disaster-prone area? Check the availability and accessibility of evacuation routes and assembly points. Discuss with your family to ensure a safe evacuation route. Find out who will be your support person and check other family members who may need assistance in emergency situations. Practice a routine earthquake safety and evacuation simulation in house and school. Do not forget to prepare an emergency kit/bag. Always take the opportunity to join disaster safety and preparedness training. Try to minimise the hazard risk by creating safe spatial layout and design at home and school.
When an earthquake happens, you can take three immediate steps to help you survive: drop, cover, and hold on.
- Drop: drop onto your hands and knees from where you stand to balance your body.
- Cover: cover your head and neck with your arms while staying on your knees. This is to avoid injury to your vital organs.
- Hold on: hold on and seek a nearest shelter until the earthquake stops. Find a table or other object with a hard surface such as a chair, to protect yourself from any debris and hold on tight to it.
A moment after the earthquake stops, evacuate immediately by going out of the building while keeping your head and body protected. Remember not to run during the evacuation, do not make a noise and push other people. If you are on a beach when the earthquake happens, move away from the beach immediately and go to higher ground because a tsunami may occur any time after an earthquake.
Once you arrive at an assembly point or a shelter, stay there, find a safe area, and look for any trusted information about the situation as soon as possible. Inform your location and condition to your families and friends when possible. Do not return to your house until it is safe to, or until you receive instructions from local authorities.