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What should I do during an earthquake?

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Hello and welcome to CoreFacts, where we're always short on time and big on science. I'm Dane Klima. Today's question is about Safety.

What should I do during an earthquake?

If an earthquake occurs and you are indoors, stay there. Some safe places to consider are going under a desk or table, moving into a hallway or going against an inside wall. You should stay clear of windows, fireplaces, heavy furniture and appliances. You should also stay out of the kitchen. Don't run downstairs or rush outside while the building is shaking because there may be falling glass or debris.

If you are outside, get into the open, away from buildings, power lines, chimneys, and anything else that might fall on you.

If you are driving, stop carefully and try to move your car as far out of traffic as possible. It's important to remember not to stop on or under a bridge or overpass or under trees, light posts, power lines, or signs. You should stay inside your car until the shaking stops and when you resume driving, watch for breaks in the pavement, fallen rocks, and bumps in the road.

And now you know. Join us every week for a new CoreFact. If you're looking for more in-depth science coverage, please check out the USGS CoreCast at To have your own question potentially featured on the air, send it to or leave a voicemail with us at 703-648-5600; however do remember that this may be a long distance charge, so long distance fees may apply.

CoreFacts is a product of the U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior.

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