- Stay calm and kneel or sit on the floor (before the tremors knock you down). This position protects you from falling and allows you to still move around if necessary.
- Crawl under a large sturdy object (such as a strong table or desk) to avoid being struck by falling debris from the roof/ceiling/walls/windows. Cover your head/neck with your arms/hands.
- Be prepared to move with your shelter if the shaking shifts it around.
- If there is nothing sturdy to crawl under then position yourself at an interior wall near the centre of the building. Interior walls are less likely to collapse than outer / exterior walls.
- Stay away from windows, mirrors, loose standing cupboards, shelves, light fixtures and ceiling fans (i.e. anything that could fall on you).
- Stay inside until the tremors and shaking stops and until it is considered safe to go outside.
- Use the stairs to evacuate from a building (not the elevator/lift) and only evacuate when it is considered safe to do so. Do not exit a building during the tremors/shaking.
- Be aware that the power may go out and sprinkler systems or fire alarms may be activated.
- Stay calm and move away from exterior walls of buildings to avoid being struck by falling debris from collapsing walls, windows and roof tiles/sheeting.
- Move away from power cables, trees and structures that may collapse and fall on you.
- Once in the open, stay there until the tremors/shaking stops while covering your head and neck with your arms and hands.
- Stay calm and stop the vehicle as quickly but as safely as possible.
- Do not stop next to buildings and large trees or under bridges and overhead power lines.
- If considered safe to do so, stay in the vehicle.
- Proceed cautiously after the earthquake has stopped avoiding damaged roads/bridges.
IF TRAPPED UNDER DEBRIS
- Stay calm and do not disturb unstable structures which may cause further collapse.
- Try not to inhale dust by covering your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.
- If possible, shout or tap on a pipe, wall or any other object so rescuers can locate you.
Jonathan De Villiers
DIRECTOR: OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH, SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT