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Earthquake Survival Tips: Think You’re Safe? Think Again



Asphalt road cracked and broken from earthquake | Earthquake Survival Tips: Think You're Safe? Think Again | Featured

Know what to do in an earthquake survival before, during, and after this natural disaster hits. Increase your chances of survival when the Earth trembles.

RELATED: Be Prepared! 14 Earthquake Survival Tips That Could Save Your Life

In this article:

  1. Survive an Earthquake
  2. How to Be Safe During an Earthquake
  3. Earthquake Survival Tips: Before an Earthquake
  4. Earthquake Survival Tips: During the Earthquake
  5. Earthquake Survival Tips: What to Do After an Earthquake
  6. Earthquake Survival Tips with Interesting Perspective

Earthquake Survival | Natural Disaster Preparedness Tips

Survive an Earthquake

Earthquake survival might seem like a more specialized type of preparedness. For example, those on the West Coast of the United States are more likely to know what to do to survive an earthquake than people in other parts of the US.

But it’s a mistake to assume that since you don’t live in an area that’s prone to earthquakes, you are safe from this type of natural disaster and don’t need to do anything to prepare.

How to Be Safe During an Earthquake

Even though Texas has several fault zones including the Balcones, Luling, Mexia, and Talco, we Texans don’t commonly think of earthquakes as a threat. But this is a mistake, especially for those of us who are preppers and want to be ready for everything.

We never want to be vulnerable in the face of disaster.

This is precisely the reason we have collected some tips on what to do during an earthquake, in our hopes to reach out and inform as many people as we can, preppers or not.

We are all in this together. Stay safe.

Earthquake Survival Tips: Before an Earthquake


The following are things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your property in the event of an earthquake.

  • To begin preparing, you should build emergency kits and make a family communications plan.
  • Fasten shelves securely to walls.
  • Place large or heavy objects on lower shelves.
  • Store breakable items such as bottled foods, glass, and china in low, closed cabinets with latches.
  • Mirrors, picture frames, and other hanging items should be secured to the wall with closed hooks or earthquake putty. Do not hang heavy objects over beds, sofas, or any place you may be seated.
  • Objects such as framed photos, books, lamps, and other items that you keep on shelves and tables can become flying hazards. Secure them with hooks, adhesives, or earthquake putty to keep them in place.
  • Bookcases, filing cabinets, china cabinets, and other tall furniture should be anchored to wall studs (not drywall) or masonry. Use flexible straps that allow them to sway without falling to the floor.
  • Electronics such as computers, televisions and microwave ovens are heavy and expensive to replace. Secure them with flexible nylon straps.
  • Brace overhead light fixtures and top-heavy objects.
  • Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections. These are potential fire risks. Get appropriate professional help. Do not work with gas or electrical lines yourself.
  • Install flexible pipe fittings to avoid gas or water leaks. Flexible fittings are more resistant to breakage.
  • Secure your water heater, refrigerator, furnace and gas appliances by strapping them to the wall studs and bolting to the floor. If recommended by your gas company, have an automatic gas shut-off valve installed that is triggered by strong vibrations.
  • Repair any deep cracks in ceilings or foundations. Get expert advice if there are signs of structural defects.
  • Get professional help to assess the building’s structure and then take steps to install nonstructural solutions, including foundation bolts, bracing cripple walls, reinforcing chimneys, or installing an earthquake-resistant bracing system for a mobile home. Examples of structures that may be more vulnerable in an earthquake are those not anchored to their foundations or having weak crawl space walls, unbraced pier-and-post foundations, or unreinforced masonry walls or foundations.
  • Visit www.fema.gov/earthquake-safety-home for guidance on nonstructural ways to reduce damage and earthquake resistant structural design or retrofit.
  • Store weed killers, pesticides, and flammable products securely in closed cabinets with latches and on bottom shelves.
  • Locate safe spots in each room under a sturdy table or against an inside wall. Reinforce this information by moving to these places during each drill.
  • Hold earthquake drills with your family members: Drop, cover and hold on.

Click here to read more.

RELATED: 15 Urban Survival Skills That Could Save Your Life

Earthquake Survival Tips: During the Earthquake

  • If you are indoors, stay there. Quickly move to a safe location in the room such as under a strong desk, a strong table, or along an interior wall. The goal is to protect yourself from falling objects and be located near the structural strong points of the room. Avoid taking cover near windows, large mirrors, hanging objects, heavy furniture, heavy appliances or fireplaces.
  • If you are cooking, turn off the stove and take cover.
  • If you are outdoors, move to an open area where falling objects are unlikely to strike you. Move away from buildings, power lines, and trees.
  • If you are driving, slow down smoothly and stop on the side of the road. Avoid stopping on or under bridges and overpasses, or under power lines, trees, and large signs. Stay in your car.

More tips

Earthquake Survival Tips: What to Do After an Earthquake


  • After an earthquake, the disaster may continue. Expect and prepare for potential aftershocks, landslides or even a tsunami. Tsunamis are often generated by earthquakes.
  • Each time you feel an aftershock, drop, cover and hold on. Aftershocks frequently occur minutes, days, weeks and even months following an earthquake.
  • Check yourself for injuries and get First Aid, if necessary, before helping other people.
  • Put on long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, sturdy shoes, and work gloves to protect against injury from broken objects.
  • Look quickly for damage in and around your home and get everyone out if your home is unsafe.
  • Listen to a portable, battery-operated or hand-crank radio for updated emergency information and instructions.

To read all the tips, click here.

Earthquake Survival Tips with Interesting Perspective

Call it contradictory especially when you consider the source, but these earthquake survival tips are also worth reading.

1. Everyone who simply “ducks and covers” WHEN BUILDINGS COLLAPSE is crushed to death — Every time, without exception. People who get under objects, like desks or cars, are always crushed.

2. Cats, dogs, and babies all naturally often curl up in the fetal position. You should too in an earthquake.

It is a natural safety/survival instinct. You can survive in a smaller void.

Get next to an object, next to a sofa, next to a large bulky object that will compress slightly but leave a void next to it.

3. Wooden buildings are the safest type of construction to be in during an earthquake. The reason is simple: the wood is flexible and moves with the force of the earthquake.

If the wooden building does collapse, large survival voids are created. Also, the wooden building has less concentrated, crushing weight.

Brick buildings will break into individual bricks. Bricks will cause many injuries but less squashed bodies than concrete slabs.

See more.

Here are 10 ways to survive an earthquake by BRIGHT SIDE:

Earthquakes can cause panic and frankly, not everyone knows what to do when the Earth is trembling. People run but there’s really nowhere to go.

These useful tips will get your mind in the right place and help you decide better when all else is in chaos.

Want to share your own earthquake survival tips with us? Write them down in the comments section below!


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on January 16, 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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  1. Anita E. Adams

    January 19, 2015 at 5:40 PM

    Nice looking pice of equipment

  2. Great Grey

    January 25, 2015 at 3:03 AM

    If you’re in a moving vehicle it will be a very major quake before you will notice it by feel, unusual swaying of power lines, etc. maybe your only clue before the road fails or the bridge collapses, and of course comments by the radio announcer or the station suddenly going off air.

  3. SortingHat

    January 26, 2015 at 8:25 AM

    I think what’s happening is the earthquakes are being *force* started in order to shave off the big one.

    Anyways will Oregon be one of the more safer states to be in since we live in the country outside of Salem.

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  9. Cring Packer

    July 23, 2018 at 9:25 PM

    Earthquake is the scary and unpredictable natural events. Thanks for sharing the majestic information.

  10. Samir

    October 21, 2020 at 6:21 AM

    Thanks for sharing information, great article.

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