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Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

Drop, take cover and hold on in case of an earthquake

Drop. Take cover. Hold on.

Following these three simple commands can help Oklahomans remain steady when the ground begins rumbling under their feet as an earthquake strikes.

“In any emergency, knowing exactly what to do calms fears and increases the chances of you and your family remaining safe,” said Gina Peek, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension housing and consumer specialist.

Anyone who is inside when an earthquake strikes should drop to the ground, take cover under a sturdy piece of furniture such as a table or desk and hold on until the shaking stops.

If no cover is readily available or it is not safe to make it to a desk or table, crouch against an interior wall and use your arms to protect the head and neck.

Avoid taking cover near exterior walls, windows, hanging objects, tall furniture, large appliances and cabinets containing heavy objects or glass.

“Keep your movements to a minimum while trying to get to safety and stay inside until the shaking stops,” Peek said. “Falling walls and flying objects and debris can pose more of a risk than the ground movement.”

People in wheelchairs or other mobility devices should lock the wheels and remain seated until the shaking stops, using their arms, a pillow, book or other prop to protect the head and neck.

For those who happen to be in bed at the time of an earthquake, stay there and use pillows to protect your head.

If outdoors when an earthquake strikes, stay outside. After moving away from power lines, trees, signs, buildings and other hazards, drop, cover the head and neck and hold on until the shaking stops.

“If you’re driving during an earthquake, pull over, but avoid bridges, overpasses and power lines. Set the vehicle’s parking break and stay inside the car until the shaking stops,” Peek said. “Once it’s safe to proceed, be careful of roads, bridges and ramps that may have been damaged.”

Anyone trapped by debris from an earthquake should cover their mouth with a piece of clothing or a handkerchief, and remain as still as possible to avoid stirring up dust or disturbing the debris pile.

“Tap on a pipe or wall or use a whistle to alert emergency personnel to your location. Shouting is a last resort because it can cause you to inhale dust,” Peek said.

For more information on earthquake safety, contact the local county Extension office and visit www.ready.gov.

 

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REPORTER/MEDIA CONTACT:
Leilana McKindra
Communications Specialist
Agricultural Communications Services
158 Agriculture North
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078
Phone: 405-744-6792
Fax: 405-744-5739
Email: leilana.mckindra@okstate.edu

 

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater, OK 74078
405.744.5000