Rossen Reports: Earthquake Safety Tips


As the cleanup continues after the powerful earthquake that devastated Mexico City this week, many are wondering how safe their homes and office buildings really are. Turns out these deadly earthquakes can happen anywhere, no matter where you live.

For more important safety information, pre-order Jeff Rossen’s new book “Rossen to the Rescue” here.

So what do you really need to know about earthquake safety? Ian Buckle, director of the Earthquake Lab at the University of Nevada, has a key piece of advice.

“The rule of thumb is to bend down, cover yourself and hold on, which is great if you have something to hide and cover under like a table or desk. And that’s what we teach kids at school, ”Buckle says. “Cover your head and get off. “

In the past, some experts have advised people to stand in a door frame as the best form of protection. But these aren’t always the best options, Buckle says.

“It depends on whether the door frame is in a load-bearing wall and it may or may not work. Stay away from the doors. And the taller you are, the more dangerous the effects of an earthquake can be.

The Department of Homeland Security has presented several tips for people located in areas prone to earthquakes.

Before an earthquake

  • Try to secure large items, such as shelves, mirrors, televisions, or computers, which could fall and cause injury.
  • Practice your “drop, cover and hold” routine by dropping yourself to the ground, covering your head with your arms, and finding a safe place away from potentially dangerous debris.
  • Store medical and emergency supplies, such as bandages and water, in a safe place.
  • Have a structural engineer check your home for any potential problems and make recommendations for improving your foundation.

During an earthquake

If you are inside a building:

  • Drop onto your hands and knees so the earthquake doesn’t knock you over. Drop to the ground (before the earthquake lets you down!)

  • Cover your head and neck with your arms to protect yourself from falling debris.

  • Hold onto any sturdy coating so you can move around with it until the shaking stops.

  • Stay where you are until the shaking stops. Don’t run outside. Do not enter a doorway as this does not protect against drops or flying objects, and you may not be able to stand.

If you are outdoors when you experience shaking:

If you are outdoors when the tremors begin, stay away from buildings, street lights, and electrical wires. Once in the open, “Let go, cover and hold. Stay there until the shaking stops.

After an earthquake

  • Once the shaking has stopped, inspect the surroundings. Head to an open space away from damaged buildings, if possible.

  • If you are trapped, don’t move around or stir up dust, but if you can easily reach your cell phone, call or text for help.

  • Check for injuries and provide help if you have training. Help rescues if it is safe to do so.

  • Do not try to remove heavy debris on your own.

  • Be prepared to “Drop, Cover and Hold On” in the likely event of aftershocks.

To learn more about life saving tips that can help you during an earthquake, visit

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