How to Survive an Earthquake
Many people do not know about Arizona's earthquake dangers. The entire state has had some shaking ground from time to time. In fact, since 1850, Arizona has had more than 20 earthquakes with magnitudes of 5.0 or higher.
Prepare Your Home to Protect Your FamilyBefore the next earthquake hits, there are several things you can do to keep your family safe:
- Have a professional repair any defective electrical wiring, leaky
gas lines, and rigid utility connections.
- Bolt down and secure to studs your heavy household appliances, such
as the refrigerator, furnace, water heater and gas appliances.
- Ask your gas company if you need a shut off valve that is triggered
by strong vibrations.
- Place large or heavy objects on lower shelves.
- Fasten shelves, large mirrors, or large pictures to walls.
- Brace top-heavy objects and anchor overhead lighting fixtures.
- Inspect your residence to make sure it is firmly mounted to your
- Have flexible pipefittings installed to avoid gas or water leaks.
- Locate safe spots in each room (under a sturdy table or against
an inside wall).
- Hold earthquake drills with your family.
If You Are Inside
- Head to a safe space in your home (under a sturdy table or against
an inside wall) until the shaking stops. Crouch and cover your face
and head with your arms.
- Avoid glass, windows, outside doors and walls and anything that
could fall like fixtures or furniture.
- If you are in bed, stay there and protect your face and head with
a pillow or move to a safer place.
- Use a doorway for shelter only if it's close by and strongly supported.
- Stay inside until the shaking stops. If you go outside, you could
be hit by falling debris.
- Be aware that the power may go out and sprinklers may come on because
of the earthquake.
- Never use any elevators.
If You Are Outside
- Stay outdoors but move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility
- If you are in a moving car, stop quickly. Keep away from buildings,
trees, overpasses, and utility wires.
- After the shaking stops, move cautiously. Watch for bridge
and road damage.
- If you are trapped under debris:
- Do not light a match.
- Do not move or kick up dust.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a thick cotton cloth (if possible)
or part of your clothing.
For more information on earthquake preparedness, check "Are You Ready?" from FEMA.