Where Is The Safest Place To Be During An Earthquake?

Where is the safest place to be during earthquake vxuzu5

The safest place to be during an earthquake is where you are at the time the shaking begins.

I know that wasn’t the answer you were looking for. So I will give you some real-world solutions to real problems.

Since we don’t know when an earthquake will strike, you are not going to get to pick your safe spot in advance. But you can reduce your chances of becoming injured by making smart decisions when the time comes. Your actions will come with consequences, so I will help you make smart choices.


You cannot out run an earthquake. Most injuries occur while moving during an earthquake or running outside of the building. Inside the building you have protection. Remember, every step you take you inside the building increases your odds of becoming injured. Outside you become very vulnerable to falling plate glass windows, bricks and concrete with zero cover or protection. Sidewalks can become a killing zone.

earthquake brick damage to cars

Falling bricks during earthquake crush cars

Do Not stand in doorways.

They are the weakest part of the walls and usually have doors which become weapons when they start swinging. Bracing yourself in a door frame leaves you very exposed to flying glass and debris with your face and vital organs at risk of injury.

Do Not get out of bed and lie next to or under the bed.

In the 1994 Northridge Earthquake in California, beds moved violently, hopping up and down and even pinning people to the wall. Stay in bed and cover your head with your pillow and hang on.

Do Not stop under ovepasses or bridges when in your car.

Pull to the side, put your car in park and lie down in the front seat.

Do Not get out of your car.

That metal roof is great protection. Being outside leaves you exposed to traffic, wires and falling objects. Even your own car could bounce on top of you.

So, where is the safest place to be during an earthquake? Well, it should be our homes, because this is where we actually have control of our environment and can mitigate hazards in advance and have all our supplies handy. Read our blog about strapping down furniture to solve problems before they even occur.

Here’s some quick tips.

Place protective film over large windows, keep the blinds closed at night when everyone is sleeping, strap down the refrigerator, etc. Basically, strap down anything that is taller than it is wide.

At home the garage is probably the most unsafe room in the house. Aside from all the hazards in the garage, it is also the weakest part of the home. Because stability and strength requires 4 walls, your garage is weak because it only has 3 walls. So don’t store your supplies in the garage.

What you should do, is to find a table or a chair or any substantial furniture that you can get under to protect yourself. You should Drop, Cover, and Hold On to the furniture with both hands until the earthquake stops. If there’s no table or chair to use as cover, then you would drop with your face by your knees and cover the back of your neck with your hands. You want to protect those first six bones of the spine.

Drop Cover Hold For School unm9va

Click the image to download this poster

If an earthquake happens while you are in a public place, theater, restaurant, or shopping mall, you need to find the nearest cover to protect yourself from falling objects. People will panic and run, but you shouldn’t. You have to protect yourself from the human stampede.

In a movie theater

Get on the floor and use the seat as your cover. Wait til the shaking stops before making your way to the outside. Remember those exit signs will lead you directly to the outside so you don’t have to travel the way you came in. That route will be very congested.

In Malls

There is a lot of glass which could become very dangerous. When in a store, take advantage of any metal circular clothing racks, get inside to protect yourself from flying glass and falling ceiling tiles and/or light fixtures.

When in a big box store

Big box stores like Costco or Home Depot, you can find safety in the bottom of those tall racks. Remember, the stock at the top of those racks are coming down and landing in the aisles. That is not where you want to be. Most of the energy and swaying will be at the top of the racks, not the bottom.

Northridge earthquake


By staying still, the chances of getting hit by something is much lower than when you are running. When you are moving (running) you are increasing the odds of getting hit by flying or falling debris.

While the earthquake is happening, your priority objective is to protect yourself. You can’t help yourself, your family or anyone else if you become injured. An earthquake may cause massive casualties, this means that emergency responders will be busy helping with hundreds of emergencies. So be sure to learn life-saving first aid skills and what to do after an earthquake.

Hope this helps.

Have you done any earthquake preparedness? If not, please check out my newest Disaster Preparedness Calculator, it will help you for your preparation.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Wayne Bennett Captain Wayne Bennett (Ret.) is the founder of Disaster Survival Skills, LLC. and is also a retired professional firefighter and disaster preparedness coordinator who recognized a need for a one-day training on how everyone should respond to a disaster. From that moment forward the commitment has been to develop, refine and perfect techniques and strategies that everyone can use. In addition to training, Disaster Survival Skills, LLC. provides practical and realistic supplies that support their training. There is no fluff or waste in their kits, but rather items that can and will be used by your employees in an emergency.

December 1, 2018 @ 07:35


What can be done to help pets during an earthquake


January 19, 2019 @ 15:16


this was ever so helpfull

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Steph Leigh
Steph Leigh
Wayne was awesome!!! The cpr training was so helpful!! Learned a lot!!!
Miriam Johnson Brady
Miriam Johnson Brady
Elizabeth Majeske-Lozada
Elizabeth Majeske-Lozada
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Robynne Chatten
Kim Pearson
Kim Pearson
You gave alot of information more people need to know CPR and first aid
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Thai Vu Park
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Laurie Stapert-Sharp
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Desi Lu
In all my years as a registered nurse, this is the best CPR & First Aid class ever! Thank you
Rhys Vargas
Rhys Vargas
Wayne is such a nice guy. Really funny and the course is supper easy to understand and it's worth the money .
Cyndi Leier
Cyndi Leier
Wayne is THE best trainer and I've taken his CPR/1st aid course many times. He explains everything so well that I actaully felt he was with me when I had to perform CPR for the first time.read more