Earthquakes can happen anytime, anywhere. It is one of the most unpredictable natural disasters that can occur without any warning. Being inside a car during an earthquake can be a scary experience. You are not in control of the surroundings, and you cannot run to a safer place. However, there are some things you can do to stay safe if you are in a car during an earthquake.
Stay Calm and Stay Inside the Car
The first thing you should do if you are in a car during an earthquake is to stay calm. Do not panic or try to get out of the car immediately. The car can provide a certain level of protection from falling debris. If you try to run out of the car, you may get injured by falling debris or lose your balance due to the shaking.
Pull Over to a Safe Place
If you are driving when an earthquake strikes, you should pull over to a safe place as soon as possible. Try to drive your car to an open area where there are no trees, buildings, or power lines. If you cannot find an open area, pull over to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights. Do not stop under bridges, overpasses, or near tall buildings.
Stay Inside the Car Until the Shaking Stops
Once you have pulled over to a safe place, stay inside the car until the shaking stops. Do not leave the car until it is safe to do so. If you need to turn off the engine, do it quickly and safely. If you have passengers in the car, make sure they are safe and calm. Keep them away from the windows and doors.
Protect Yourself From Falling Debris
If you are inside the car during an earthquake, you need to protect yourself from falling debris. If you have a blanket or jacket in your car, cover your head and neck with it. Do not try to move your car to avoid falling debris. You may end up driving into more dangerous areas.
Move to a Safer Place After the Earthquake
Once the shaking stops, you need to move to a safer place as soon as possible. Check your surroundings before you move your car. Be careful of damaged roads, fallen power lines, and bridges. If you are in a city, avoid areas with tall buildings that may have suffered damage during the earthquake.
Check Your Car for Damage
After you have moved to a safer place, check your car for damage. Look for any cracks, leaks, or other signs of damage. If you find any damage, do not drive your car. It may not be safe to do so. Call for help or wait for a professional to come and check your car.
Stay Informed about the Earthquake
Stay informed about the earthquake through the radio or social media. Know the extent of the earthquake’s damage and the areas affected. If you need to travel, check the roads and bridges for damage. Follow the instructions of the local authorities and emergency services.
Prepare an Emergency Kit for Your Car
It is important to prepare an emergency kit for your car. The emergency kit should include a first aid kit, food, water, blankets, a flashlight, and a radio. Keep the emergency kit in your trunk or glove compartment. Make sure to replace any expired items in the kit regularly.
Being inside a car during an earthquake can be a scary experience. However, if you stay calm, stay inside the car, pull over to a safe place, protect yourself from falling debris, and move to a safer place after the earthquake stops, you can stay safe. Remember to stay informed about the earthquake and prepare an emergency kit for your car.
What should I do if I’m driving on a bridge during an earthquake?
If you are driving on a bridge during an earthquake, slow down, stay in your lane, and do not stop. Once you have crossed the bridge, pull over to a safe place and follow the guidelines mentioned above.
Can I keep my car engine running during an earthquake?
No, it is not recommended to keep your car engine running during an earthquake. Turn off your engine once you have pulled over to a safe place.
How can I protect my passengers in the car during an earthquake?
You can protect your passengers in the car during an earthquake by making sure they are calm, away from the windows and doors, and covered with a blanket or jacket.
Should I try to move my car to avoid falling debris during an earthquake?
No, you should not try to move your car to avoid falling debris during an earthquake. It is safer to stay inside the car and protect yourself from falling debris.
How often should I replace the items in my car’s emergency kit?
You should replace the items in your car’s emergency kit every six months to a year. Check the expiration dates of the items regularly and replace them as needed.