Lately we experienced couple of earthquakes and the buildings shook considerably when I felt it on 15th floor of a commercial building though the epicenter was far away in Iran-Pakistan border and another in Jammu in India. The natural tendency of people was to run out of the building as quickly as possible but in multistory buildings that is not the best thing to do. Let’s take a quick look at facts on what to do and what to not during an earthquake especially you are in a multistory building
Don’t do the following during an earthquake
1. Don’t run around or create panic for yourself and others
2. Don’t shout or try to influence the mass, let the marshals of the building or the facility take over the situation
3. While evacuating the building, don’t run on the stairs as it may create a stampede. Walk slowly at constant speed.
4. Don’t run outside or another rooms, it’s dangerous thing to do. Things falling from the top may cause injuries.
5. Don’t stand in the doorway, this area is highly prone to injuries.
6. DO NOT use the elevators or escalators.
7. Do not move until shaking stops completely.
Do the following during an earthquake
1. Find a corner especially with a pillar and stay there and keep calm.
2. Rather than standing drop on your knees and hands, cover your head with both your hands.
3. If possible, find a cover in form of furniture. If you stay under furniture it will lower the chances of injuries.
4. If you are living in high seismic zone, then always keep a bag ready with items you may need to survive after the earthquake. A torch, a whistle, some biscuits, water bottle, first aid kit and medicines.
5. Stay away from glasses, windows, outside walls, doors, and any place where falling or flying objects may cause an injury.
6. If you are on bed, stay there and cover your head with a pillow.
7. If you stuck under debris, do not light a match, do not try to clear the debris yourself and cover your mouth so that you can breath properly. Keep blowing whistle so that rescue team can locate you.
So, the key is to keep your calm. In historical events of earthquake it has been observed that earthquake causes less damage compared to stampede or panic situations cause during an earthquake. Not following the right practices during earthquake is another cause of injuries during an earthquake. Note that you can’t evacuate a multistory building in few seconds so you have to stay in, keep your calm and do the right things to avoid any mis-happenings.