According to experts, these are three actions you have to avoid during an earthquake. 

After years of research and evaluation of how people are injured or killed during earthquakes, and based on the U.S. and international rescue teams experience, the University of Washington recommends not to do these three things: 

DO NOT run outside or to other rooms during shaking

First of all, shaking can be strong, and, probably, you won’t be able to walk without falling down. Also, objects may fall down or may even suddenly thrown in your direction representing a major risk. The best thing to avoid possible injuries is to drop to the ground and cover your head and neck with your hands. 

DO NOT stand in a doorway

We have seen this image many times: a collapsed home with the door frame as the only standing part. This was the origin of the idea that a doorway is the best and safest place to stay during an earthquake. Unfortunately, that’s true only if you live in an unreinforced adobe house or some older wood-frame houses. In modern constructions, doorways are no safer than any other part of the house; on the contrary, this area does not protect you from falling objects, and you won’t be able to brace yourself in the door. A safer place to stay is, definitely, under a table. 

DO NOT get in the “triangle of life”

The alternative to the well-established “drop, cover and hold” was trying to be displaced by the so-called “triangle of life.” This technique was circulated through email some years ago, but its credibility and foundations have been broadly questioned. 

It’s better to avoid recommendations like getting next to a table rather than underneath it or get out of your car during an earthquake and lie down next to it because wrong assumptions support them.

Being informed is the first step in preparedness for an earthquake, and that is what will reduce possible injuries and damages. SkyAlert brings you essential advice to keep yourself safe. 

Source: UW Emergency Management. (2019).

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