Earthquake photo After an Earthquake - Actions to Take


  Wear Sturdy Shoes, Leather Gloves, and a Hard Hat
Shoes under the bed illustration

This requires prior planning but it can save your life by protecting you from broken glass and other hazards following an earthquake.


  Check for Injuries and Provide Assistance
First Aid Kit Photo

Check yourself and assist those who need help. Give First Aid where appropriate but DO NOT move a seriously injured person unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Call 9-1-1 only to report a life threatening emergency. Provide assistance to the elderly or disabled.

  Be Aware of Tsunami Danger
Tsunami photo

If you live in a coastal area, follow tsunami evacuation signs or move inland and to higher ground after an earthquake as a tsunami can occur. If no higher ground is near, go to the upper levels of reinforced buildings. Monitor your local radio or NOAA Weather Radio for further instructions and information.

  Check for Hazards



photo of house fire


Photo of Building After an Earthquake


Downded Power line photo


Hazards can include:

Fire - put out small fires in your home or neighborhood using a fire extinguisher if you can do so safely.

Gas leaks - if you smell an odor or hear a hissing sound, open your windows and leave immediately. Shut off your main gas valve that is located outside your home.

Electrical damage - electrical sparks or downed power lines can create electrical shock. If needed, shut off electricity at the circuit box.

Spills - immediately clean up spilled of potentially harmful materials such as medicines, gasoline, bleaches or other household chemicals. Leave the area if you smell gas or fumes from other chemicals as toxic gases can cause injury or death.

Downed power lines - do not approach, attempt to walk under, or move downed power lines

Trees, branches, brick or other items that can fall - use caution as objects such as bricks from a chimney can come loose and fall creating a hazard.

Actions taken prior to an earthquake can reduce your hazards and the potential for serious injury.

  Out-of-Area Contact
out of area contact card illustration

If you are separated from your loved ones when an earthquake strikes, attempt to make contact with your Out-of-Area Contact to report your status and to find out about other family members or friends.

  Monitor Your Radio

Radio photo

Monitor your local radio or television stations for further instructions and information. Radio stations will broadcast what to do, the location of emergency shelters, medical aid stations, and extent of damage.

  Expect Aftershocks
Earthquakes photo

Aftershocks are secondary shockwaves that can create additional damage to weakened structures. Aftershocks can occur in the first few hours or even months after the earthquake.






© Copyright 2014 Washington Military Department - Emergency Management Division