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Earthquake Safety Information: From the Safety Council of Greater St Louis

Did you feel the most recent earthquake? If so, did you know what it was?

Do you know what to do in an earthquake? Let’s Review.

According to the United States Geographical Society there are 500,000 detectable earthquakes in the world each year. 100,000 of which can be felt, and 100 of which cause damage. As a review, an earthquake is the result of a shift on a fault plane deep beneath the earth’s surface. The energy is released in waves that travel through the earth’s crust cause the shaking that we feel.

Because the number of damaging earthquakes in our area are so few, many buildings are not constructed to withstand severe shaking, and most people do not know a lot about earthquake safety. So, here is a simple review:


If you are INDOORS:

  • Stay in the area you are in, do not move around (when you move around you are more likely to be hit by falling or flying objects).

  • Drop down to your hands and knees so you are not knocked over (there may be a strong aftershock).

  • Keep away from windows, outside walls and electronics.

  • Take cover under a table, desk, or other piece of low, sturdy furniture, near an interior wall if possible (if not possible, cover your neck and head).

  • Hold on to your cover until all moment has stopped.

Again, Do not try to exit the building during an earthquake! You’re more likely to be hit by falling debris than if you take cover indoors. And after be aware that some buildings may have experienced structural damage that cannot be seen.

If you are OUTSIDE:

  • Move to an open area away from power lines and buildings.

  • Stay away from chimneys or anything, which can collapse and fall on you.

If you are DRIVING:

  • Pull over to the side of the road and pull your emergency break, stay in the vehicle.

  • Avoid parking under a freeway overpass, or near heavy highway signs, or in an area where the road’s been cut into a hillside, or near powerlines or trees.

Earthquakes often cause falling rocks.

IF you ever become Trapped:

  • If you happen to get trapped in a structure, do not shout for help – unless you hear voices nearby. Instead, bang a piece of debris against something metal, if you can. This banging sound will carry farther, and - unlike shouting - it won’t drain your energy and fill your lungs with the thick dust that clouds the air after a building collapse.

For more information visit our sources: FEMA National Safety Council United States Geographical Survey

For more information or training Contact us Safety Council of Greater St. Louis, 2022

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