SAN ANGELO, Texas (Concho Valley Homepage) — Knowing what to do during an earthquake before one hits can be vital in keeping yourself and your loved ones safe.

The CDC says you can protect yourself in most situations if you immediately dropcover, and hold on. Below are tips to follow if you are in varying situations during an earthquake.

Drop. Cover. Hold on.

  • Drop down onto your hands and knees before the earthquake knocks you down. This position protects you from falling but allows you to still move if necessary.
  • Cover your head and neck (and your entire body if possible) underneath a sturdy table or desk. If there is no shelter nearby, get down near an interior wall or next to low-lying furniture that won’t fall on you, and cover your head and neck with your arms and hands.
  • Hold on to your shelter (or to your head and neck) until the shaking stops. Be prepared to move with your shelter if the shaking shifts it around.

If you are inside, stay inside. When an earthquake hits, quickly move away from glass, hanging objects, and heavy furniture that could fall. Grab something to shield your head and face from falling debris and be aware of fallen obstacles. It is not recommended to stand in a doorway, in modern homes the doorways are no stronger than any other part of the house. Instead, duck under a table.

If you are in a high-rise building move away from windows and outside walls. Do not leave the building and especially do not use the elevators.

If you are in a crowded space do not rush for an exit, others will have the same idea. Move away from furniture and shelving that can fall on you and try to take cover.

If you are outside, stay outside. Move away from buildings, utility wires, sinkholes, and fuel and gas lines. The greatest danger from falling debris is just outside doorways and close to the outer walls of buildings. Find an open, clear area and lay low there until the shaking stops.

If you are in a moving vehicle stop as quickly and safely as possible. Move the car out of the way away from utility poles, overhead wires, and under or over-passes. Stay in the car with the parking brake set and turn on the radio for emergency broadcast information. If a power line falls on the car, stay inside until a trained person removes the wire.

If you are in a stadium or theater, stay in your seat. Protect your head and neck and watch for falling objects.

If you cannot drop to the ground, try to sit or remain seated so you are not knocked down. If you are in a wheelchair, lock your wheels. If you are able, seek shelter under a sturdy table or desk. If you are unable to move from a bed or chair, protect yourself from falling objects by covering up with blankets and pillows.

If you are trapped under debris make noise to increase your chances of being found by a rescue team.