The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) is advising the public that the ‘Drop, Cover, and Hold’ is the appropriate action to reduce injury and death during earthquakes.
This methodology is also the accepted safety manoeuvre promoted by United States federal, state and local emergency management experts, the Red Cross, and other official preparedness organisations.
The ODPEM does not endorse any other recommended actions for earthquake safety at this time. Below is the ‘Drop, Cover and Hold’ methodology:
During An Earthquake…Drop, Cover and Hold! Earthquakes can happen at anytime, anywhere. When an earthquake strikes you may have a few seconds between the realisation that this is an earthquake and the time when the shaking stops. This is when your advanced planning becomes important. If you know what to expect and what to do, you can make the right decisions that may mean the difference between injury, life or death.
1. Take Cover in the Nearest Space: Take cover where you are. If you are outside during an earthquake take cover there, do not rush indoors or vice versa. Protect yourself from things that may fall on top of you, whether it is broken glass or a whole building. Once you take cover in your safe place, stay there until the shaking stops; earthquakes seldom last longer than a minute although it seems longer.
2. Drop, Cover and Hold: Practice the Drop, Cover and Hold procedure until it becomes second nature:
Drop: get under a sturdy piece of furniture, making yourself into a little ball (do not go under beds or other objects that could collapse).
Cover: keep your head and eyes protected from falling or flying objects. Cover your head with one hand.
Hold: with your other hand, hold onto the piece of furniture. If it moves, move with it. Stay under shelter until you are sure the shaking has stopped.
Cover and Hold:If you cannot shelter under furniture or a doorway, move against an interior wall if you are indoors, drop, put your arms over your head and across the back of your neck for protection. If there is a book, pillow, tray or other protection at hand, hold it over your head and neck. It is better to break your arms than to have something fall on your head or neck, which will probably result in unconsciousness, paralysis, brain damage or death.
3. Door Way for Protection:If you are not near any sturdy furniture, take cover in a sturdy doorway. The extra construction around a doorframe makes it one of the strongest parts of a building. Also there is rarely anything over a doorway to fall on you. Avoid doorways, however, that have transoms or air conditioners above them. Brace yourself in a doorway with your back against the hinges of the door,feet spread wide apart for balance, leaning across to hold onto the opposite side.
Stand in a Doorway and Brace:Brace yourself and try to hold off the door with your shoulder or hip and hold on tight, feet spread wide apart for balance, leaning across to hold onto the opposite side. Beware of the door that can swing back and forth during an earthquake.