By now, everyone knows to “duck, cover, and hold on” during an earthquake. But what do you do if the Big One—a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that could hit Metro Manila at any time—happens when you’re not at your desk?
What if you’re sleeping in your bed, riding an elevator, going down a flight of stairs, or in your car? Here’s how to stay safe when there’s not a sturdy table in sight.
An elevator is the last place you want to be during an earthquake—the power could get cut, leaving you trapped inside, so get out as soon as you can.
Most likely after the quake stops, the train will slowly proceed towards the next station and let the passengers off there. Don’t try to exit the train and walk on the tracks, as you might get electrocuted.
You should also avoid bridges and flyovers. But if you’re stuck in a traffic jam on or underneath a flyover, remain in your vehicle until the shaking stops. Once the initial earthquake is over, get out and walk to an open area. As much as possible, avoid passing by tall structures since they could fall over during aftershocks.
Needless to say, you shouldn’t try to run down the stairs or exit the stairwell while the earthquake is still going on, as you’ll probably slip and fall. Instead, hold on and wait until the shaking stops before attempting to evacuate the building.
Stay away from windows and glass, since these could shatter during the quake. The same goes for hanging fixtures, tall furniture, and exterior walls, since the shaking could cause them to fall on you. Remember to remain inside until the trembling stops.
You’re less likely to be struck by falling objects or cut by broken glass if you stay where you are. The only time you should move is if there’s a heavy light fixture above your bed that could fall on you—and if there is, you should probably consider moving your bed to another part of the room before an earthquake occurs.