Earthquake preparedness: before the quake

What to do during an earthquake

If you are inside a building:

  • Stay inside your building and stay calm
  • Shelter under strong heavy furniture
  • Avoid windows, mirrors, tall cabinets and hanging objects
  • If you’re not near anything sturdy, drop to the floor against an interior wall and cover your head and neck
  • If you’re in bed, stay there and protect your head and neck with pillows and sheets

Do not try to leave the building. You will be at greater risk from falling debris.

If you are outside:

If possible, proceed into the open area away from buildings, utility posts and trees. However, heavily built up areas like Makati and Ortigas have very few open spaces and you’ll be at risk from falling glass, electricity poles and debris from buildings. In this case, it would usually be safer to head inside the nearest building to take refuge. Once inside, follow the guidelines in the section above.

If you are inside a car, slowly come to a stop on the side of the road. Avoid stopping where there are overhead dangers or on bridges. Turn off the engine, engage the parking brake and switch on the emergency flasher.

After the earthquake

First check yourself for injuries then help the people around you. Check for potential dangers like fires and structural damage. Be aware that loose items could fall off shelves. If your building is sound, it is normally safer to remain inside as going outside may put you at risk from falling debris.

If you are trapped in debris, try not to should as you could inhale dangerous dust. Cover your nose and mouth with your clothing and tap on something like a pipe to signal for rescuers.

Listen for updates on the radio or television. Remember that aftershocks can still occur for a few days or months after the main earthquake.