Getting ready for an earthquake

  • Find out and let your family know what to do at home, at work and at school in case of an earthquake.
  • Agree with them on a gathering place in case you are separated because of an earthquake.
  • Have an emergency kit ready (for your house, car and pets).
  • Move heavy objects to lower shelves to keep them from falling on someone.
  • Solidly secure high shelving units and any other furniture that could topple over and hurt someone.
  • If your home has natural gas appliances or appliances that are connected to an outdoor propane tank, make sure that everything is solidly secured and that the hoses cannot break.

During an earthquake

If you are indoors:

  • remain calm;
  • keep away from windows, mirrors, glass partitions, high bookshelves and hanging light fixtures;
  • take shelter under a solid piece of furniture and hang on, or stand against a wall and cover your head and neck with your hands;
  • if you are in a wheelchair, lock the wheels and cover your head and neck; and
  • if you are in a crowded public place, take shelter somewhere where you will not be trampled.

If you are outside:

  • keep away from buildings, power lines and other structures that could collapse, such as billboards.

If you are in a vehicle:

  • do not stop on a bridge or an overpass, under a viaduct or in a tunnel; park your vehicle at the side of the road in a clear lane, and stay inside it, and if you are in a bus, stay seated until the vehicle comes to a stop.

After the earthquake

  • If you are not injured, check on the people close to you. If any of them are injured, ask for help, and if you can do so, administer first aid.

If you are indoors:

  • check to make sure that there is no fire or gas leak in your home; if there is any doubt, shut off the power. If there is a gas leak, shut it off at the source, and do not light a match or lighter, but open the windows and leave the building.

If you leave your home:

  • leave a message indicating where you can be found in a clearly visible spot;
  • take your emergency kit; and
  • do not take the elevator.

If you are outside:

  • do not enter your home if it is damaged;
  • do not enter any damaged building even if you think it might be safe; and
  • wait for instructions from the authorities.

Source: En situation d'urgence, savez-vous quoi faire? brochure by Quebec's ministère de la Sécurité publique.

Top of page