Texas Travel

Dealing with a Texas Earthquake

By Rachel Elmalawany 7.8.13

Earthquake activity in Texas has increased over the last decade. While they have not been as severe in Texas as they are in many other states, if you live in a more earthquake-prone part of the state, you should know what to do if an earthquake affects your home.

 

Before an earthquake

The best thing to do is prepare for an earthquake before it hits.

  • Identify and secure valuable items on shelves and fireplace mantels such as heavy pictures, mirrors, or hanging pots that could fall during shaking, as well as flammable chemicals like paint or cleaning liquids that could spill.
  • Prepare an emergency kit, which can really be used for any type of natural disaster. Ready.gov has a complete list to help you get started.
  • Identify safe spots in your home, which will include places under which to hide and corners on inside walls.

 

During an earthquake

When an earthquake strikes, there’s little time to process and react to what is happening, so commit the following to memory.

  • FEMA says to drop, cover, and hold. Find a sturdy table or bench to get under to protect yourself from falling objects. If there isn’t one available, crouch down next to an interior wall and cover your head.
  • If you’re in bed, stay in bed and cover your head with a pillow unless there is a chandelier or ceiling fan directly above.
  • Do not run or move about until after the shaking has stopped.

 

After an earthquake

After an earthquake happens is when you should check for damage and injuries.

  • If your home is not habitable or safe, leave the structure immediately.
  • Clean up any chemical spills that could catch fire in an electrical surge.
  • Do not use the telephone or drive your car unless there is a life-threatening emergency.
  • Check your building for damage and contact your agent to find out if you need to file a claim.