Prepare for earthquakes

Earthquakes can result in many types of emergencies. There is initial danger from the shaking that can throw you to the ground or result in injury from falling objects. Then there is potential for building collapse, landslide, flood, fire and electrocution.

After an earthquake, an emergency kit will help you be self-sufficient if the power is out, the supply chain is disrupted, or you can’t get to help.

Before an earthquake

  • Follow the National Building Code for structural stability to reduce damage to buildings.
  • Secure fuel-burning appliances so they don’t topple and start a fire.
  • Secure furniture and household objects that can fall or break, causing injury.
  • Know how to turn off water, electricity and propane in case of damaged lines.

During an earthquake

If you are indoors:

  1. Drop to the ground.
  2. Take cover under a sturdy table.
  3. Hold onto it with one hand and cover your head and neck with the other until the shaking stops.

Visit ShakeOut for guides and videos for a variety of situations.

After an earthquake

  • Be prepared for aftershocks.
  • Check local emergency information channels for updates and instructions.
  • Check on your family members. Tend to injuries.
  • Be careful of debris and broken glass. Put on sturdy shoes and protective clothing to prevent injury.
  • Check your location for structural damage and other hazards. Do not enter or stay in a building you think is unsafe.
  • Do not turn on lights or use open flame until you are sure there are no fuel leaks or spilled flammable liquids.
  • Check and shut off utilities if necessary.
  • Shut off water at the main valve. This will conserve the water already in your home.
  • Communicate, if possible, with your emergency contacts. A text is easier on the telecommunication system than phone calls.
  • If it is safe to do so, help your neighbours.

Visit for more information on earthquake preparedness and recovery.