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Posted on: February 1, 2024

What to do During an Earthquake

Earthquake Preparedness

It is important to know how to protect yourself during an earthquake, whether in your home, a school classroom, a high-rise, or another type of building. The City of Carbondale Office of Emergency Management would like to share Illinois Emergency Management Agency's (IEMA) earthquake preparedness tips.

If you are indoors, follow these steps:

  • Drop -- Drop down to the floor.
  • Cover--Take cover under a sturdy desk, table, or other furniture. If that is not possible, seek cover against an interior wall and protect your head and neck with your arms. Avoid dangerous spots near windows, hanging objects, mirrors, or tall furniture.
  • Hold--If you take cover under a sturdy piece of furniture, hold on to it and be prepared to move with it. HOLD the position until the ground stops shaking, and it is safe to move.

If you are outside when the shaking starts, get into an open area away from trees, buildings, walls, and power lines. If driving, stop safely as soon as possible. Do not stop under overpasses or bridges. Turn off the engine and turn on the radio. Stay inside your vehicle below window level until the shaking stops. Do not get out of your vehicle if downed power lines have fallen across it.

In addition to Drop, Cover, and Hold, here are a few do's and don'ts...

  • DO:
    • move away from the window
    • get under a table or other sturdy furniture
    • face away from windows, bookcases, or heavy objects
    • protect yourself from flying objects
    • kneel, sit, or stay low to the floor if sturdy furniture is unavailable. Place your hands on the floor for balance
  • DON'T
    • run for doorways
    • get in an elevator
    • continue driving; pull over and turn your vehicle off
    • stop your car on overpasses or bridges, or under underpasses or power lines
    • forget to take some time to calm yourself after the shaking stops

REMEMBER: Many injuries occur when people run through a building during an earthquake.  Remain calm; think before you move.                                 

For more information about how you can protect yourself during an earthquake, click here.                          

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