Stop, Drop, and Hold? What to do if the Ground Starts to Shake

Stop, Drop, and Hold? What to do if the Ground Starts to Shake

If you ever wake up in the morning to the floor rapidly shaking, it will be a good thing you read this guide!

In Southern California and other parts of the Ring of Fire, earthquakes are anything but irregular. SoCal on its own has around 100,000 annual earthquakes, but only a few hundred are large enough to be felt and cause damage. Globally there are 500,000 earthquakes but only a few hundred can be felt.

 If you don’t know what an earthquake is, it is basically a series of vibrations in the earth’s lower crusts that rise to the surface. The vibrations are caused by tectonic plates that snag and grind on each other, causing energy to build up. That energy has to go somewhere, so eventually, the plates disperse all of the energy in the form of an earthquake.

The most important thing you’ll ever need to know about earthquakes is how to survive them. So, if you feel the ground beginning to shake, you need to “drop, cover, and hold”. If possible, you need to cover your entire body; if you can’t, raise your arms to cover your head and neck if that is not an option.

 When you are holding onto your shelter, be prepared to move with it if the earthquake causes the weight to shift. You should not go under a doorway for safety; instead, try to find the nearest table/desk. states that you should, “Create an emergency survival kit that provides you and your pets with three days of nonperishable food and water, medicines, emergency radio and first aid materials.”

In the event of an earthquake, do not run outside or into other rooms as you may get hit by an object, or trip and fall. Studies show that you are less likely to be injured if you don’t move. If you are caught outside during an earthquake, just look for the nearest table, and stay away from buildings.

After an earthquake, you should make sure that all of your family are not injured. If you see somebody who is injured, dial 9-1-1 immediately on the nearest phone. You also should check your water, electric, and gas lines for damage. If you see the damage, smell gas, or see electricity contact 9-1-1 for instructions.