Asistel in English
What to do after an earthquake
After the earth stops shaking, the need to act depends on the circumstances and the damage that occurred.
First, check for injuries. Do not move someone who has been seriously injured. Leave that to emergency personnel. Help people who are trapped and neighbors who have young children, the elderly, sick or disabled. Make sure your pets are OK.
If it is nighttime and there is no electricity, do not light a candle. Use a flashlight. Do not walk barefoot as there could be broken glass or other objects on the ground.
Check for gas and water leaks, broken electrical wiring or sewage lines. If there is damage, turn the utility off at the source and immediately report gas leaks to your utility company. Check for downed power lines and warn others to stay away.
Inspect the home to see if it suffered any damage. Determine if there are cracks in the roof, walls, foundation or chimney. If the earthquake caused serious damage, evacuate the home. If you live in a multi-story building, use the stairs, never the elevator. If you have to leave your home, leave a note to tell family and neighbors where you can be found.
Do not leave the home if you don’t see any damage. If you open closets or cabinets, do it carefully as items inside may have shifted during the earthquake and could tumble out.
Stay away from structures damaged by the earthquake as after shocks can collapse them. Stay clear of fallen electrical wires and make sure children do too. Don’t set your pets free to fend for themselves as they can be lost or injured. Keep them in a secure place.
Use the telephone only for emergencies. Listen to the radio or television for information. Cooperate fully with public safety officials and follow their instructions.
If the earthquake happened while you were driving, drive carefully and only if it is safe when the earthquake stops. Do not use a car unless you have an emergency to keep streets clear for emergency vehicles.
A message from the University of California Cooperative Extension and the California Office of Emergency Services.