Doorways in modern homes and structures are not much safer, and they do not protect you from flying or falling things. Instead, hide behind a table. Don't go running outdoors. Running during an earthquake is risky because the ground is shifting and you might fall or be wounded by debris or glass. Go into a room with walls that aren't collapsing and lie down until help arrives.
Seek out a high point of stability such as a stairway or balcony and climb up there. If you're in a building with no stairs, find a place to stand that's higher than a floor surface so you don't need to worry about sinking floorboards. A doorway that leads outside may offer your only chance at safety.
If you're in a vehicle when it shakes, try to reach a hand back and open the door before it stops moving. Jump out of the car before it comes to a complete stop!
Never try to cross a road during an earthquake. The shaking can cause traffic lights to malfunction, and even if they work, it isn't safe to try and judge how fast things are coming toward you or going away from you while you're trapped between vehicles.
Don't use elevators during earthquakes. They could break down due to extra stress on their components (especially the cables) and nobody would be able to get up to the top floor.
Avoid windows during earthquakes.
Doorways do not shield you from the most common cause of injury: falling or flying items. The majority of earthquake-related injuries and deaths are caused by falling or flying items (such as televisions, lights, glass, or bookshelves) or being thrown to the ground. So if you are running away from someone, seek out a doorway first so you don't become another statistic.
The reason you should always run toward a doorway is because it may provide some protection from larger objects. For example, if you were in a building without a basement, then you would be safer going into a small room with a door than trying to find an open window.
However, this isn't always the case. If there's a large piece of furniture in the way, then you might have to go outside to find safety. Before you take off, look around for other potential hiding places like under a table or inside cabinets.
Also keep in mind that not all doors are created equal. A solid wooden door will probably offer more protection than one made out of glass or plastic. However, even these types of doors can cause problems if they're blocked by a large object. For example, if a couch is blocking your door, you won't be able to get out even if you try pushing it aside. You'll need to break down the barrier to create a path out.
Injury can be prevented if you fall to the ground before the earthquake. You should not stand in a doorway. A lasting picture of California is a collapsed adobe home with only the door frame intact. During heavy shaking, you may also be unable to hold yourself against the door. The best thing to do is lie down until the earthquake stops.
According to the Earthquake Country Alliance, research has revealed that running outside during an earthquake is a bad idea. Windows, facades, and architectural elements are frequently the first components of a structure to fail. Stay inside if you're inside and outside if you're outdoors to avoid this danger zone. If you must go out, then stay near a building or some other sturdy structure.
The reason being is that your body weight when standing still can cause damage to buildings over time due to gravity. As long as the ground remains stable, there's no need to worry about getting hit by falling objects because all loose items will remain suspended in mid-air until the earthquake stops. However, if you should happen to be walking outside at the time of the quake... you'd better hold on tight!
During a seismic event, internal forces are generated which can result in walls collapsing, furniture moving, and electrical appliances breaking down. All together, these events can lead to serious injury or death. If you're caught outside during a quake, seek shelter immediately. Buildings provide safety from falling objects and broken glass, so if you cannot leave your location, then find an area under a roof with enough space for you to lie down and keep looking for help.
If you are trapped in a building, stay away from windows and any other opening through which water may be pouring in. Doors can be opened from without or within using tools such as torches or hammers.
Stay away from entrances since they are dangerous. When the earthquake ends, get out of the building and get away from it as soon as possible. Collapsing debris may be as deadly as a collapsing structure. Perhaps even more so. When re-energizing the structure, be cautious because the building facades may have fallen free... Loading...
Doorways in modern homes are no stronger than any other portion of the house, and they do not protect you from the most common source of injury: falling or flying items. Under a table, you're safer. But even there, avoid blocking escape routes. The first thing to go in an emergency is your sense of safety.
The best protection during an earthquake is the knowledge that it can happen at any time. Be prepared! Find out more about earthquakes and how to respond in an article on our website.
You will not be able to outrun an earthquake, so don't attempt. Get down on all fours and crawl or roll beneath a desk, table, chair, or whatever is around. Running around the structure looking for the greatest structural components is unrealistic and will almost certainly result in injury since you cannot escape an earthquake. Crawling under a desk or other barrier will keep you from being injured by falling furniture.
If you are caught in an earthquake, lie still and cover your head with your hands or arms. This may reduce the amount of damage done to your body. Try not to move any muscles: even if you are just lying still, this activity is helping prevent further injury.
After a major earthquake, be careful if you are going into buildings because many building occupants have been killed by entering their homes through un-jammed doors. Check all doors for human life before you use them!
Also check under beds, in closets, and in any other enclosed space where someone might be trapped. If you find someone there, try to keep them calm and well-ventilated; call for help if necessary.
Finally, stay away from damaged buildings for several days after an earthquake; they are likely to be unstable.