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The Best Thing to Do When an Earthquake Strikes and You're in a Car, Train, or an Elevator
PHOTO BY iStock
  • Earthquakes can strike when we least expect it — in the middle of the night, while we're in a meeting, or even while we're in transit. It's a given to feel scared and to instantly panic, but staying alert and knowing what to do can make a huge difference.

    By now, we're sure you've mastered how to “duck, cover, and hold on” during an earthquake. But what do you do if the Big One — a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that could hit Metro Manila at any time — happens when you’re not at home or your office desk?

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    What to do when an earthquake strikes

    Whether you're sleeping, riding an elevator, or going down a flight of stairs, there are appropriate actions that can help you get to safety. Knowing when to get out of the car, the train, or an elevator as well as what to do in a room with no tables or possible shelter can help you survive an earthquake. Here are tips to keep in mind:

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    In an elevator

    what to do earthquake elevator
    An elevator is the last place you want to be during an earthquake — the power could get cut, leaving you trapped inside. So get off at the next next floor.
    ILLUSTRATOR Jasrelle Serrano

    After an earthquake, it's best to skip riding an elevator in case of aftershocks. Err on the side of caution by taking the stairs.

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    In the train

    earthquake train
    Don’t try to exit the train and walk on the tracks as you might get electrocuted.
    ILLUSTRATOR Jasrelle Serrano

    Most likely after the quake stops, the train will slowly proceed towards the next station. Remain calm and listen to the train personnel's instructions how to get to a safe place. Remain calm.

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     On the road

    earthquake road
    If you’re stuck in a traffic jam on or underneath a flyover, remain in your vehicle until the shaking stops.
    ILLUSTRATOR Jasrelle Serrano

    Pull over and stay in car with the hand brake on. Once the initial earthquake is over, get out and walk to an open area. As much as possible, avoid passing by tall structures since they could fall over during aftershocks. Avoid steep slopes, trees, and telephone poles that could fall.

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    On a stairwell

    earthquake no table no shelter> <figcaption class=
    Hold on and wait until the shaking stops before attempting to evacuate the building.
    ILLUSTRATOR Jasrelle Serrano

    Don't try to run down the stairs or exit the stairwell if the ground is still shaking because it will be easy to slip and fall. Crouch next to the railing and hold on to it while protecting your head and neck.

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    In a room without a sturdy table or possible shelter

    earthquake stairwell
    Remember to remain inside until the trembling stops.
    ILLUSTRATOR Jasrelle Serrano

    Do this version of the drop-cover-and-hold: crouch next to an interior wall and cover your head and neck for protection against falling debris. Stay away from windows and glass since these could shatter during the quake. The same goes for hanging fixtures, tall furniture, and exterior walls since the shaking could cause them to fall on you.

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    In bed

    earthquake bed
    You’re less likely to be struck by falling objects or cut by broken glass if you stay where you are.
    ILLUSTRATOR Jasrelle Serrano
    Stay in bed and cover your head with a pillow to protect your head and neck. The only time you should move from your bed is if there’s a heavy light fixture above that could fall on you. After the earthquake, you may want to consider moving your bed to another part of the room before an earthquake occurs.
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    This story originally appeared on Esquiremag.ph

    Minor edits have been made by the SmartParenting.com.ph editors.

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