What to do when you feel an earthquake coming

Whenever you feel the tremors of an earthquake, the smartest thing to do is drop, take cover, and stay there. Depending on where you are at the time of the earthquake, you can do many things to prevent severe injuries and even death.

Earthquakes come without warning, so it is crucial that you know the dos and donts when you encounter a strong tremor. Livetray brings you a comprehensive and easy-to-remember guide to stay safe wherever you are and whatever you are doing when the earth shakes.

When You are Indoors

The golden rule is to stay where you are and never run to other rooms or outside. You may have heard of doorframes being a safe place, but it is not. Most door frames are not as strong as the rest of the building. It will not protect you from falling and flying objects that will cause.

There are several steps you can take to avoid being crushed.

  • Stay indoors. Don’t go out.
  • Take refuge under heavy furniture like a table, bed, or any bulky furniture.
  • Cover your head with your hands or any object to prevent getting hit by heavy falling items.
  • Get a firm hold onto the furniture you are under so that the tremors will not throw you off from the protection.
  • If you cannot get under furniture, the next best thing is to crouch on an interior wall.
  • Remember to stay away from the windows because the glasses will break and cause injuries.
  • Do not stand or sit near shelves that may fall on you.
  • If you are in a wheelchair, always lock your wheels first and protect your head and neck with your hands or an object.
  • If you are at home, turn off the gas stove.
  • Do not use elevators to exit a building; stairways are safer.
  • In a crowded place like malls or theaters, do not rush out but stay calm and take cover and shield yourself from the falling debris.
  • If you get trapped, do not panic. Get the attention of rescuers by tapping on metals around you.

When You are Outdoors

When we are indoors during an earthquake, we tend to rush outside, thinking we will be safer there from falling debris. While outdoors can be relatively safer, you still need to take measures to make sure you are safe.

  • Stay away from wires, sinkholes, high buildings, and gas lines.
  • Move away from streetlights.
  • If possible, find an open place free from tall structures, trees, and telephone poles.
  • The area close to buildings is a dangerous place as falling debris like bricks and glasses may fall on you.
  • Once in an open space, stay low and stay there until the tremors stop.

When You are in a Vehicle

It is hard to detect small tremors when you are in a moving vehicle. The moment you feel the earth-shaking, stop your car immediately and take the following measures.

  • Move your car to the curb. Make sure there are no telephone poles nearby.
  • Stay in the car and set your vehicle in parking brakes. Do not panic if the car shakes violently. Staying inside is as safe as you can be.
  • In case of a power line falling on your car, don’t get out. Wait for someone to remove the lines away before you can come out to safety.
  • Keep your radio on for emergency broadcasts.
  • If you pass a bridge, make sure you drive away so that you are off the bridge.
  • Try not to block the road with your car. Keep the road free for emergencies.

If You are Trapped Under Debris

In an unfortunate event where you are trapped under the debris, the following measures may be helpful.

  • First thing, do not panic.
  • Never light a match.
  • Stay still
  • Cover your mouth to avoid inhaling dust
  • Tap on a metal surface or wall to let rescuers know your location.
  • If you have a whistle, blow it.
  • Shouting may not be as useful because the noise from outside will drown your voice. It will also cause you to inhale the dust. Use this step as a last measure.


  • Always keep a fire extinguisher ready at home.
  • Keep an emergency bag prepared, including first aid, batteries, flashlight, radio, and blankets.
  • Prepare a plan for the whole family to gather when an earthquake strikes.
  • Avoid keeping heavy objects high on shelves where they will fall and cause serious injury.
  • Secure heavy appliances and furniture to the wall.
  • Use anti-skid pads under appliances like TVs and Computer tables to prevent them from sliding.
  • Keep beds away from windows. Keep your windows covered will blinds or curtains to minimize the shattered glass to spread all over.


  • Be prepared for aftershocks.
  • Check yourself for any injuries and if you are able, help others.
  • If you have access to a radio or television, listen for any information and instructions.
  • If you are barefoot, wear a shoe before you walk around to avoid stepping on sharp debris.
  • Check for any damages in your house structure and if there are probable hazards, avoid re-entering the house.
  • Stay away from walls and chimneys, as they may be damaged and weakened by the tremor.
  • Do not light any matchsticks before checking the gas lines, as there may be a leak from the shake. Use a flashlight instead.
  • If you suspect a gas leak, shut off the gas valve and call your gas provider to report. Before turning the gas back on, wait for a technician.
  • Stay away from damaged walls and chimneys; they may fall on you.
  • Once you have checked your households, organize a rescue team to help your neighbors.
  • Avoid using phones except for emergencies.


In case of an earthquake, prepare necessary supplies for emergencies. Livetray has compiled a list to include in your emergency kit.

  • First aid kit: It includes bandages, disinfectant liquids, band-aids, hand sanitizer, etc.
  • Water: Store enough water for essential use for survival. Store enough to last for a minimum of three days.
  • Food: Stock up enough non-perishable food that is high in energy and high in protein as well.
  • Flashlight: During earthquakes, power will be disrupted. Keep a flashlight ready with extra batteries.
  • Cash: ATMs will likely not operate during such a situation. Keep small bills of money ready for necessary supplies.
  • Phone: Include a basic phone with a portable phone charger.
  • Miscellaneous: Include blankets, a map, matchsticks, candles, scissors, and knives.