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Drop, Cover and Hold On During an Earthquake

The July 4 and 5 Ridgecrest earthquakes were a jarring reminder of the fact we live in a quake zone. During an earthquake, residents should “drop, cover and hold on.” However, older people may not be able to get down on their hands and knees and, if they do, they might not be able to get back up. With that in mind, Village Security Chief Tim Moy identifies the following “safe places” and what protective acts people can take if they are unable to drop, cover and hold on:

Safe Spaces

  • Safe spaces, such as under tables or desks along inside walls, help protect you against falling objects and breaking glass.
  • Create safe spaces by securing heavy furniture to wall studs, moving heavy items to low shelves, hanging art with closed hooks or other measures found at earthquakecountry.org.
  • Secure essential equipment, such as oxygen tanks or other life support devices, so they will not fall, sustain damage or cause injury.
  • Secure yourself as best as possible along walls with no hazards, such as windows, hanging pictures, bookshelves, etc.

Alternatives to Drop, Cover and Hold On

If you have difficulty getting onto the ground or cannot get back up again without the help of a caregiver, follow these recommendations:

  • If you are in a recliner or bed: Cover your head and neck with your arms or a pillow until the shaking stops.
  • If you use a cane: Drop, cover and hold onto or sit on a chair, bed or other sturdy item, and cover your head and neck with both hands. Keep your cane near.
  • If you use a walker or wheelchair: Lock your wheels (if applicable). If using a walker, carefully get as low as possible. Bend over and cover your head/neck with your arms, a book or a pillow. Then hold on until the shaking stops.

For key earthquake safety tips for people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs, click here. For an earthquake preparedness guide for those with disabilities and/or access/functional needs, click here

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