What to do during an earthquake if you're not at home

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San Andreas Fault in the Carrizo Plain, aerial view from 8500 feet altitude. Photo by Ikluft/ Wikimedia Commons.

Last weekend’s earthquakes made much of Southern California realize, once again, that it’s time to get ready for the Big One. 

According to seismologist and earthquake safety expert, Lucy Jones, “It could be several months before you have water. There’s no way you store several months of supplies – so I’ve settled on a message which is however much water you’re storing – get some more.”

But once you have your supplies and a solid plan, what do you do during the quake?

As you’ve likely been instructed, drop, take cover and hang on until the shaking stops. However, what if you’re in the car? Or in bed? 

Below are ways to stay safe in the places you don’t expect to be when an earthquake strikes.   

In the car

Be sure to have an earthquake kit inside your vehicle. But, if you’re driving during an earthquake, pull over and stay there until it’s safe to proceed. 

On a train or bus

Stay calm, stay where you are and wait for instructions. Here’s more info from Metro

In bed

Unless you’re under a big heavy light fixture or near other large items that could fall on you, don’t move. Stay in bed. Use pillows for protection until it’s safe to move. 

In the shower

If you can grab a towel to cover yourself, do. Then drop, cover and hold. Use the towel to protect your body from falling debris. 

On the beach

If you’re on the beach, you’re likely in an open space away from falling debris. However, you can learn more about what to do if there’s a tsunami warning here. 

On a hike

If you’re in a mountainous area, watch out for falling debris and rocks.  

At a restaurant

Get under the table, and hold steady until the shaking stops. 

At the movies

Stay in your seat, stay calm. Cover your head and neck for protection and wait until it’s safe to leave.

At a Dodger game

If you’re in a stadium stay in your seat, protect your head and neck with your arms. Remain calm and wait until it’s safe before you leave. 

On a roller coaster 

Wait for the crew to effectively get you down and out of the train. Meantime, cover your neck and head. Here’s a good overview of what to do at Disneyland if you’re there during a quake.