What to Do During an Earthquake in an Apartment?

An earthquake is one of the mightiest forces of nature and inflicts significant damage in an apartment building and to you if you are not adequately prepared for it.

You should be aware of what you should do in order to keep yourself and your loved ones safe during an earthquake.

When faced with a dangerous situation, it is usually best to instantly DROP, COVER, and HOLD.

The following information will assist you in remaining safe in your apartment during an earthquake.

What to Do During an Earthquake When In an Apartment?

Read on to learn what to do during an earthquake inside your apartment or apartment building.

The right actions can save your life!

Drop, Cover, Hold on

In most instances, you can protect yourself if you immediately drop down into your hands and knees. This stance prevents you from falling and injuring yourself.

Cover your head and neck (and your entire body if feasible) underneath a strong table or desk.

If there is no shelter nearby, get down against an interior wall or next to low-lying furniture.

Protect your head and neck with your arms and hands. Hold on to your until the shaking stops. Be prepared to move with your shelter if the tremor shifts it around.

If you are unable to fall to the ground or are in a wheelchair, try to sit or remain seated to avoid being knocked down. Make sure your wheels are locked.

Remove everything that isn’t securely fastened to the wheelchair. Use a huge book, cushion, or your arms to protect your head and neck.

The purpose is to avoid injuries caused by falling or by things that may fall or be thrown at you. Try to seek refuge beneath a strong table or desk if possible.

Move your wheelchair away from windows and hanging items. If you are unable to move from a bed or chair, cover yourself with blankets and pillows to protect yourself.

Stay Inside the Apartment

Do not hurry outside or to other rooms during an earthquake. You are less likely to get wounded if you stay where you are.

As the starts, swiftly move away from glass windows, hanging objects, and large furniture that could fall. Do it in the first few seconds of the shaking before it worsens.

Also, watch for falling objects, such as bricks from the fireplace, wall hangings, and light fixtures. Don’t forget to get away from cabinets with doors that could swing open.

Broken glass and debris on the floor might cause injuries if you walk or roll onto the floor.

If you are in bed, grasp on and stay there, shielding your head with a pillow. You are less likely to get wounded staying where you are.

If accessible nearby, grab something to shelter your head and face from falling debris and shattered glass.

If you are in the kitchen, instantly switch off the stove and take cover at the first sign of shaking.

Get Away from the Doorway

Many people assume that a doorway is the safest place to be during an earthquake. True- if you reside in an old, unreinforced adobe house or some older wood-frame houses.

Avoid standing in a doorway during an earthquake. You are safer under a table or other sturdy furniture.

In modern apartments, entrances are no stronger than any other section of the structure.

Most injuries and deaths are caused by falling or flying objects or by being knocked out. Doorways will not protect you from flying or falling objects.

Avoid Using the Elevator

If you are in the building near the reception area, stay there but do not try to reach your apartment right away. If you can, seek cover and grab something to shield your head and face from falling debris.

Do not use the elevators as the electricity may go out, and the sprinkler systems may come on.

Stay calm and make sure you do not rush for the doorways. Others will have the same idea. It will get crowded.

If you are trapped in the elevator, be calm. Try to grab someone’s attention by tapping on hard or metal components of the structure.

Doing so may boost your chances of being rescued.

Stay Where You Are

If you are right outside your apartment building, stay where you are. Move away from the building, utility wires, sinkholes, and fuel and gas lines.

The region near the outer walls of a structure is the most unsafe location to be.

Architectural elements, such as windows, are often the first elements of the building to fall. Stay away from this danger zone.

The biggest threat from falling debris is right outside doorways and close to the outer walls of buildings.

Try to reach an open place away from trees, telephone poles, and buildings. Once in the open, get down low and stay there until the shaking stops.

Prepare for Aftershocks

In the aftermath of an earthquake, the aftershocks might be as powerful as the quake itself. Be psychologically and physically prepared for the aftershock!

Get to a safe area and wait out the aftershocks if you didn’t have time to get to a safe spot in your residence during the earthquake.

Proceed with Caution

After an earthquake, be cautious when wandering about your unit and your apartment complex.

Broken glass and other debris can be found in many places and can cause injury.

Always keep your feet covered with shoes, and be aware of your surroundings when you’re out and about.

If you notice any damage from the earthquake, make sure your landlord knows about it.

What NOT To Do During an Earthquake

What do you think you should NOT do during an earthquake?

The first piece of advice is to refrain from walking or running while shaking occurs.

Shaking can be so intense that you will be unable to move for long periods of time without collapsing, and objects may fall or be thrown at you that you were not expecting.

Injury can be avoided if you get to the ground as early as possible.

Aside from that, do not fall prey to the “triangle of life,” which encourages getting close to a table rather than underneath it.

The so-called “triangle of life,” as well as a number of other activities, can be life-threatening in some cases.

There are a number of incorrect assumptions underpinning the advice.

For example, the premise that structures invariably collapse during earthquakes. This is incorrect, particularly in industrialized countries where apartment buildings are built to last.

The belief that when buildings collapse, they inevitably crush all of the furniture within is another popular one.

The truth is that even if the building collapses, people can escape by hiding under furniture or in other safe-havens.

A small number of people believe that it is possible to predict the way their building would collapse, as well as the location of survivable void areas. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth in this case.

Because of the direction of the shaking and the specific structural characteristics of the building, it is practically impossible to predict whether or not the building will collapse.

Some other advice in the “triangle of life” concept is similarly based on erroneous assumptions and very risky.

It is advisable to stick with the tried-and-test method: Drop, Cover, Hold.

Be Proactive: Prepare Your Apartment Earthquake

For renters, being prepared for any emergency is the greatest thing you can do, and that includes the possibility of earthquakes.

Be prepared for anything Mother Nature has in store for you and your family.

Here are some things that you can do before an earthquake hits to make your apartment more secure.

Wall-Mount Your Shelves

The bulk of earthquake-related injuries is caused by falling objects.

The use of large, heavy bookcases and storage cabinets can be quite hazardous.

Take the time to fasten your cabinets and shelves to the wall as soon as you move into your new residence.

You’ll be glad you took the time to accomplish this when your furniture is safe and secure in the event of an earthquake.

Do Not Hang Heavy Objects from the Ceiling

During earthquakes, large chandeliers and light fixtures can be extremely dangerous.

It’s best to display them in areas where you can enjoy them, but not where you’ll be spending a lot of time.

Hanging objects over your bed, couch, and other places where you spend a lot of time (motionless) is a bad idea.

Prepare an Escape Route In Case Of an Earthquake

Walking or running during an earthquake raises your chance of injury significantly, so don’t plan on going far.

However, if there is an earthquake, plan ahead of time to find a safe haven.

Under tables or against walls are the best places to hide. Avoid looking out of windows! Broken glass has the potential to inflict serious injury.

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