Emergency Management Ontario :: Earthquakes

EARTHQUAKES

Earthquakes in Ontario are rare but not unexpected. Make sure you are prepared and know how to protect yourself and your family should an earthquake occur.

When building your family emergency plan review and discuss these safety tips with your entire household to make sure everyone understands what to do.

Make your Emergency Preparedness Action Plan

General Tips

If you are indoors:

  • Drop to the ground. Take cover by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture. Hold on until the shaking stops. If there is not a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.
  • Stay away from windows to avoid being injured by shattered glass.
  • Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to exit. If you must leave the building after the shaking stops, use stairs rather than an elevator in case of aftershocks, power outages or other damage.
  • Be aware that fire alarms and sprinkler systems frequently go off during an earthquake, even if there is no fire.

If you are outdoors:

  • Find a clear spot (away from buildings, power lines, trees, streetlights) and drop to the ground. Stay there until the ground stops shaking.
  • If you are near unstable slopes or cliffs, watch out for falling rocks and other debris.

Prepare Now

  • Review and discuss these safety tips with your entire household to make sure everyone understands what to do in an earthquake.
  • Designate safe places in each room of your home, workplace and/or school. A safe place could be under a piece of sturdy furniture or against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases or tall furniture that could fall on you.
  • Practice drop, cover and hold with your entire household.
  • Bolt bookcases, china cabinets and other tall furniture to wall studs.
  • Hang heavy items such as pictures and mirrors away from beds, couches and places where people sleep or sit.
  • Brace overhead light fixtures.