GENERAL SAFETY INFORMATION
An earthquake is a sudden, rapid shaking of the
earth caused by the breaking and shifting of rock
beneath the earth’s surface. Earthquakes strike
suddenly, without warning, and they can occur at
any time of the year, day or night. Forty-five
states and territories in the United States are at
moderate to very high risk of earthquakes, and
they are located in every region of the country.
SAFETY MEASURES TO TAKE DURING AND AFTER
Tips by the Connecticut Department of Emergency
Services and Public Safety (DESPP)
When You Feel an Earthquake:
- DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON! Move quickly and
only a few steps to a safer place – under a
sturdy piece of furniture, such as a desk or
stout table. Research has shown that most
injuries in U.S. earthquakes occur when people
inside buildings attempt to move to a different
location inside the building or try to leave.
- If you are in bed, hold on and stay there,
protecting your head with a pillow.
- Stay away from windows.
- Stay indoors until the shaking stops and
you're sure it's safe to exit. In a high-rise
building, you can expect that fire alarms and
sprinklers will activate during a quake.
- If you are outdoors, find a clear spot away
from buildings, trees, and power lines. Drop to
- If you are in a car, slow down and drive to a
clear place (as described above). Stay in the
car until the shaking stops.
After the Shaking Stops:
- Check yourself for injuries. Check others for
injuries and give first aid for serious
- Look for and extinguish small fires and
eliminate any obvious fire hazards. Turn off
your electricity if you have obvious damage to
wiring and fixtures. If you smell gas or think
your gas pipes are leaking, turn off the gas.
(Remember, only a professional should turn it
- Protect yourself from further danger by
putting on long pants, a long-sleeved shirt,
sturdy shoes, and work gloves.
- Listen to the radio or television for
emergency information and instructions.
- Expect aftershocks. Each time you feel one,
DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON!
- Inspect your home for damage. If it appears
your home could collapse, then get everyone out
as soon as possible.
- Use the telephone only to report
life-threatening emergencies. Telephone service
may be disrupted by the earthquake
For additional information on earthquakes:
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) http://www.fema.gov/earthquake/
On this site you will find information on Why
Earthquakes Occur, Your Earthquake Risk,
Earthquake Fast Facts as well as Earthquake
Photos. There is information for Individuals and
Families, Teachers and Kids, Public Policy
Makers and Planners, Building Designers,
Managers, and Regulators, Businesses and Other
Organizations, Communities and States
SOURCES: Connecticut Department of Emergency
Services and Public Protection (DESPP); American
Red Cross; Federal Emergency Management Agency
PREPARED BY: 211/tb
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: August2012