Staying Safe in Earthquakes

Key Questions

  • That depends on the comfort level you want and the surroundings.

    Drinking water
    Under normal circumstances, you need 1.5 to 2 litres of water every day. Part of this will come with your food or beverages. In a dry hot climate you will lose more water through perspiration, so you will need more, up to 9 litres a day (but there are ways to avoid water loss, like staying in the shade).

    Water for cooking
    Most foods need at least a bit of water to be cooked in (or steamed). If you don't throw away the water, but use it for a soup, you can add that to your drinking water.

    Those were the essentials, without which you cannot survive in the long term.

    Then, of course, there is "luxury" water:

    • Cleaning
    • Bathing/showering
    • Flushing your toilet
    • Washing your car
    • Etc, etc

    Water use in the UK is about 150 litres per person per day!

  • Usually the safest place in the house will be in doorways during an earthquake.

    Doorways are built to withstand pressure and do a good job holding up when an earthquake does occur. If a doorway is not available then a load bearing beam is the next safest place to be under. A third option would be along a wall if necessary.

    The worst places to be would be under an open ceiling or a heavy piece of furniture. These may seem to protect you, but if they break and fall on top of you, furniture can cause serious harm. Also stay as far away from windows, appliances, and open electric wires as possible. All of these can pose an immediate threat when faced with a shaking house.

    The absolute BEST place would be outside away from any trees and buildings, but an earthquake can happen at any time, and usually this is not your immediate location.

    Also be aware of aftershocks. Sometimes the aftershock of an earthquake can be even more dangerous than the initial shake. So after an earthquake occurs, remain vigilant and hold your position for a minute or so.