Earthquake Safety Rules

Before an Earthquake

  1. Make sure that furniture in your home is firmly fixed to pillars or walls so that it will not topple over. Do not place heavy objects, such as large flower vase, on furniture.
  2. Prepare emergency food and drinking water and keep them easily accessible to be used in the event of an emergency.
  3. Discuss with your family in advance where to go and how to communicate with one another in case of an emergency.

During an Earthquake

  1. First, protect yourself from falling objects or toppling furniure by bracing yourself in a doorway or by getting under a sturdy desk or table.
  2. Turn off gas appliances. An earthquake can turn into a major disaster if it causes a fire, turn off all cooking and heating stoves, and turn off the gas at the main.
  3. Open doors and windows to secure an exit. You may not be able to go outside later if door or windows are warped in an earthquake or when a fire occurs.
  4. Do not go outside in panic. Being outdoors can be dangerous as you are likely to be exposed to broken pieces of glass, falling billboards and roof tiles, etc.
  5. Walk to your evacuation site. (Do not drive as that would be dangerous). Protect your head with a helmet or similar device and walk to your evacuation site, keeping away from brick walls, which may collapse.
  6. If you are outside, move to an open area. Get away from power lines, posts, walls and other structures that may fall or collapse. Stay away from buildings with glass panes.
  7. When driving a vehicle, pull to the side of the road and stop. Do not attempt to cross bridges or overpasses which may have been damaged.
  8. If you are on a mountain or near a steep hill slope, move away from steep escarpment which may be affected by landslides.


After an Earthquake

1. If you are inside an old, weak structure, take the fastest and safest way out!

  • Do not rush to the exit, get out calmly in an orderly manner.
  • Do not use elevators, use the stairs.
  • Check yourself and others for injuries.

2. Help reduce the number of casualties from the earthquake:

  • Don’t enter partially damaged buildings, strong aftershocks may cause these to collapse.
  • Gather information and disaster prevention instructions from battery-operated radios.
  • Obey public safety precautions.

3. Check your surroundings.

  • Clean-up chemical spills, toxic and flammable materials to avoid chain of unwanted events.
  • Check for fire and if any, have it controlled.
  • Check your water and electrical lines for defects. If any damage is suspected, turn the system off in the main valve or switch.

SOURCE: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology