Learn what to do during an earthquake, and how to strengthen your home to prepare for an earthquake.
An earthquake is a sudden, rapid shaking of the earth caused by the shifting of rock beneath the earth’s surface. They strike without warning, at any time of year, day or night. Forty-five U.S. states and territories are at moderate to very high risk of earthquakes. Learn what to do to keep your loved ones safe!
VIDEO: 3 Easy Steps to Prepare
Prepare in Advance
How to Prepare for an Earthquake
Find an online NOAA radio station
Purchase a battery-powered or hand-crank NOAA radio in the Red Cross Store
Staying Safe Indoors
Move as little as possible - most injuries during earthquakes occur because of people moving around, falling and suffering sprains, fractures and head injuries.
Try to protect your head and torso.
If you must leave a building after the shaking stops, use stairs rather than an elevator in case of aftershocks, power outages or other damage.
Staying Safe Outdoors
Staying Safe After an Earthquake
If you do nothing else:
1. If away from home, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so.
2. Check yourself for injuries and get first aid, if necessary, before helping injured or trapped persons.
3. After an earthquake, the disaster may continue. Expect and prepare for potential aftershocks, landslides or even a tsunami if you live on a coast.
4. Each time you feel an aftershock, DROP, COVER and HOLD ON.
Aftershocks frequently occur minutes, days, weeks and even months following an earthquake.
5. Look for and extinguish small fires. Fire is the most common hazard after an earthquake.
Download the Earthquake Safety Checklist
This all-inclusive app lets you monitor more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts, to help keep you and your loved ones safe.