Where is the safest place to be during an earthquake?

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kateanswers eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The safest place to be during an earthquake is wherever the earthquake is not! However, if you are in an area experiencing seismic activity, there are some things to consider in determining the safest place for you to be. First, if you are outside, stay outside and stay away from buildings or man-made structures until the quaking passes. This will help you to avoid being injured by a collapse or the resulting debris. Try to stay clear of trees and power-lines as well.

If you are inside, stay inside, and try to follow the three-step saying: "drop, cover, and hold on." Drop down onto your hands and knees and seek shelter under a table or desk. Hold on tight to the legs of the table or desk and stay there until quaking passes. Do not stand in a doorway! If you do not have access to a table or desk, try to kneel or lie against an interior wall. Exterior walls (those which have a side facing outdoors) are more likely to crumble or collapse during an earthquake, so avoid seeking shelter against these. Stay away from windows and doors until the quaking passes.

If you are driving when an earthquake strikes, drive to a clear part of the road and pull off. Remain inside the parked car until quaking passes. 

If you live near or are visiting the coast, try to get to high ground as soon as the earthquake passes. Seismic activity can trigger a tsunami, and those at low ground by the seaside are at risk of being swept up. 

If you are in bed when an earthquake strikes, stay in bed unless you can very quickly take shelter under a table or desk. Curl into a ball, hold onto the frame of the bed, and cover your head with a pillow for protection.

If you are in a public place like a theater and seeking shelter under a table is not an option, lean forward in your seat and cover the back of your head and neck with your hands. 

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