If you cannot drop to the ground, try to sit or remain seated so you are not knocked down. –

If you are in a wheelchair, lock your wheels. Remove any items that are not securely attached to the wheelchair. Protect your head and neck with a large book, a pillow, or your arms. The goal is to prevent injuries from falling down or from objects that might fall or be thrown at you. If you are able, seek shelter under a sturdy table or desk. Stay away from outer walls, windows, fireplaces, and hanging objects. If you are unable to move from a bed or chair, protect yourself from falling objects by covering up with blankets and pillows. If you are outside, go to an open area away from trees, telephone poles, and buildings, and stay there. For more resources for people with impaired mobility and other access and functional needs, visit the,

 : Stay Safe During an Earthquake

How can we prevent earthquake damage?

CAGUAS, Puerto Rico – The recent series of earthquakes has left many people in Puerto Rico feeling unsettled or nervous but there are steps you can take to make your home more secure. Puerto Rico is where the Caribbean tectonic plate meets the North American plate, which makes it seismically active.

  • Because of this, earthquakes and aftershocks will occur in Puerto Rico; it is a natural process.
  • While the aftershocks are expected to decrease in frequency and severity, aftershocks are likely to continue for the next few weeks and even months.
  • If your home was damaged, contact your local Municipal Emergency Management Office.

Municipal staff can take your information and refer it to the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Bureau that has assessment teams ready to go out to check for damage. While no one can stop an earthquake, there are steps you can take right now to reduce earthquake damage.

To secure your space, identify hazards and move them out of the way. The shaking produced by an earthquake or strong aftershock can cause heavy objects to move or fall, potentially injuring people and pets. To avoid injury, move heavy objects to the floor or, if on a shelf, to a lower level. Anchoring bookcases to the wall will prevent them from falling.

Here are some other things you can do:

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To prevent injuries from flying glass, apply safety film to windows and glass doors.Anchor large appliances to walls using safety cables or straps.Install ledge barriers on shelves and secure large, heavy items and breakables directly to shelves to keep them from falling.Install latches on drawers and cabinet doors to keep contents from spilling.Anchor filing cabinets and televisions to walls.Hang mirrors and pictures with closed hooks.Secure water heaters to wall studs with two metal straps.

You can also protect yourself financially by talking to your insurance representative. You may want to consider increasing your earthquake insurance. You have worked hard to buy expensive items such as appliances and televisions. Protect them and act to reduce your potential earthquake damage today.

  • For more tips to reduce damage, visit Ready.gov/Earthquakes,
  • For more information on Puerto Rico’s disaster recovery, visit the Government of Puerto Rico, FEMA.gov/disaster/4473, Twitter.com/FEMARegion2 and Facebook.com/femapuertorico,
  • FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters.

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA ( 3362 ) or 711 for Video Relay Service.

How can you stay safe during an earthquake drill?

Drop, cover, and hold on during your earthquake drill. –

DROP down onto your hands and knees immediately. This position protects you from falling but still allows you to move if necessary. COVER your head and neck (and your entire body if possible) underneath a sturdy table or desk. If there is no shelter nearby, get down near an interior wall or next to low-lying furniture that won’t fall on you, and cover your head and neck with your arms and hands. Try to stay clear of windows or glass that could shatter or objects that could fall on you. HOLD ON to your shelter (or to your head and neck) until the shaking stops. Be prepared to move with your shelter if the shaking shifts it around.

Where do most earthquakes occur?

Earthquakes can strike any location at any time, but history shows they occur in the same general patterns year after year, principally in three large zones of the earth:

The world’s greatest earthquake belt, the circum-Pacific seismic belt, is found along the rim of the Pacific Ocean, where about 81 percent of our planet’s largest earthquakes occur. It has earned the nickname “Ring of Fire”. Why do so many earthquakes originate in this region? The belt exists along boundaries of tectonic plates, where plates of mostly oceanic crust are sinking (or subducting) beneath another plate. Earthquakes in these subduction zones are caused by slip between plates and rupture within plates. Earthquakes in the circum-Pacific seismic belt include the M9.5 Chilean Earthquake (1960) and the M9.2 Alaska Earthquake (1964). The Alpide earthquake belt extends from Java to Sumatra through the Himalayas, the Mediterranean, and out into the Atlantic. This belt accounts for about 17 percent of the world’s largest earthquakes, including some of the most destructive, such as the 2005 M7.6 shock in Pakistan that killed over 80,000 and the 2004 M9.1 Indonesia earthquake, which generated a tsunami that killed over 230,000 people. The third prominent belt follows the submerged mid-Atlantic Ridge, The ridge marks where two tectonic plates are spreading apart (a divergent plate boundary). Most of the mid-Atlantic Ridge is deep underwater and far from human development, but Iceland, which sits directly over the mid-Atlantic Ridge, has experienced earthquakes as large as at least M6.9.

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The remaining shocks are scattered in various areas of the world. Earthquakes in the prominent seismic zones described above are taken for granted, but damaging shocks can occur outside these zones. Examples in the United States include New Madrid, Missouri (1811-1812) and Charleston, South Carolina (1886). However, many years usually elapse between such shocks. Learn more:

Understanding plate motions Earthquake Lists, Maps, and Statistics Earthquake Information by Region

Why do we need to cover during earthquake?

Drop, Cover, and Hold On or other recommended actions such as Lock (wheels), Cover, and Hold On – if you feel shaking or get an alert. – Alert systems around the world can now detect earthquakes and send alerts that may provide time to act before strong shaking arrives, including Earthquake Warning California, powered by the ShakeAlert® Earthquake Early Warning System! Your past experience in earthquakes may give you a false sense of safety; perhaps you did nothing, ran outside, or stood in a doorway, and you survived with no injuries.

Or perhaps you got under your desk, and others thought you overreacted. Yet you may never have experienced the kind of strong shaking that is possible in much larger earthquakes: sudden and intense back and forth motions of several feet per second will cause the floor or the ground to jerk sideways out from under you, and every unsecured object around you could topple, fall, or become airborne, potentially causing serious injury.

This is why you must learn the expert guidance for how to immediately protect yourself after the first jolt or get an alert that shaking is on its way! Federal, State, and local emergency management experts and other official preparedness organizations agree that the actions described below will reduce injury and death during earthquakes. DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees. This position protects you from being knocked down and reduces your chances of being hit by falling or flying objects. COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand.

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If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath for shelter. If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall. Stay on your knees; bend over to protect vital organs.

HOLD ON until the shaking stops.

Under shelter: hold on to it with one hand; be ready to move with your shelter if it shifts No shelter: hold on to your head and neck with both arms and hands.

Or adapt to your situation. If you have difficulty getting onto the ground, or cannot get back up again without help, then follow these recommendations: If you use a cane: DROP, COVER, and HOLD ON or sit on a chair, bed, etc. and cover your head and neck with both hands. Keep your cane near you so it can be used when the shaking stops. If you use a walker or wheelchair: LOCK your wheels (if applicable). If using a walker carefully get as low as possible. Bend over and COVER your head/neck with your arms, a book, or a pillow. Then HOLD ON until the shaking stops. For other accessibility recommendations see EarthquakeCountry.org/accessibility. All of this information and more can be found in our Key Earthquake Safety Accessibility Tips PDF, also available in Other Languages, Taking the proper actions described in this page, above and below, can save lives and reduce the risk of injury. Everyone, everywhere, should learn and practice what to do during an earthquake, whether at home, work, school, or traveling.

What are the 4 parts of earthquake?

Parts of an Earthquake

Focus The geographic location and depth where the earthquake starts
Seismic Waves Propagation of mechanical energy through the earth’s layers
Fault Line along which two sections of rock can move against each other