Why is a “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” drill important? To respond quickly you must practice often. You may only have seconds to protect yourself in an earthquake before strong shaking knocks you down, or something falls on you.
So what exactly do you have to do?
- Drop down onto your hands and knees (earthquakes can knock you down). This position protects you from falling but allows you to still move if necessary.
- Cover your head and neck with both arms, clasping your neck with your hands. If a study desk or table is nearby, crawl beneath it while keeping one arm over your head. (If there is no shelter nearby, only then should you 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.
What is the procedure for someone who is disabled or otherwise cannot get under a table or desk?
If you have difficulty getting safely to the floor on your own, get as low as possible, protect your head and neck, and move away from windows or other items that can fall on you. If you are in a wheelchair, lock your wheels and remain seated until the shaking stops. Always protect your head and neck with your arms, a pillow, a book, or whatever is available.
What if there is no table or desk near you?
If there is no table or desk near you, drop to the ground and then if possible move to an inside corner of the room. Be in a crawling position to protect your vital organs and be ready to move if necessary, and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms.
What about getting under a door frame?
Do not stand in a doorway. You are safer under a table. In modern houses, doorways are no stronger than any other part of the house. The doorway does not protect you from the most likely source of injury — falling or flying objects. Most earthquake-related injuries and deaths are caused by falling or flying objects (e.g., TVs, lamps, glass, bookcases), or by being knocked to the ground.
Where can I get more information?
Information can be found in these websites:
- Earthquake Country (for disabled persons)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (for disabled persons)
We hope you find this information useful and we look forward to working with you to improve our safety procedures here at CGU.