Did the building just move? Yes, that was a tremor you felt recently when a quake of 4.0 was recorded in New England. Although 800 of them happen a year, it is rare for those of use in New England to feel the shake of an earthquake. It took me awhile to realize it was an earthquake, at first I thought it might be some kind of large truck rumbling by, or something like that. Within seconds of feeling the tremor, friends on Facebook and twitter with posting comments, many of which were “was that an earthquake?” We just don’t think about earthquakes in this area….but clearly they do happen! So, when one hits what should you do?
If you are indoors when shaking starts:
“DROP, COVER AND HOLD ON.” If you are not near a strong table or desk, drop to the floor against an interior wall and cover your head and neck with your arms.
Avoid windows, hanging objects, mirrors, tall furniture, large appliances and cabinets filled with heavy objects.
Do not try to run out of the structure during strong shaking.
If you are downtown, it is safer to remain inside a building after an earthquake unless there is a fire or gas leak. Glass from high-rise buildings does not always fall straight down; it can catch a wind current and travel great distances.
If you are in bed, stay there and cover your head with a pillow.
Do not use elevators.
If you use a wheelchair, lock the wheels and cover your head.
If you are outdoors when shaking starts:
Move to a clear area if you can safely walk. Avoid power lines, buildings and trees.
If you’re driving, pull to the side of the road and stop. Avoid stopping under overhead hazards
If you are on the beach, move to higher ground. An earthquake can cause a tsunami.
Once the earthquake shaking stops:
Check the people around you for injuries; provide first aid. Do not move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger.
Check around you for dangerous conditions, such as fires, downed power lines and structure damage.
If you have fire extinguishers and are trained to use them, put out small fires immediately.
Turn off the gas only if you smell gas.
Check your phones to be sure they have not shaken off the hook and are tying up a line.
Inspect your home for damage.
For more information on what to do before and after an earthquake hits click here! And if you have any questions about your Massachusetts Earthquake Insurance, call your local independent insurance agent.