ULTIMATE TRAVELER SAFETY GUIDE: WHAT TO DO DURING AN EARTHQUAKE

We can’t predict an earthquake.
What we can do is prepare, and educate ourselves with tips to stay safe in case an earthquake occurs on our travels to countries with a high risk of earthquakes.

Earthquakes are one of the most terrifying natural disasters that can occur, especially, when they shake things up when you are traveling. While they can cause significant destruction, understanding where earthquakes are more common to occur, and what to expect before, during, and after an earthquake is key to ensuring your safety.

I come from an earthquake-prone region. Have survived cyclons, painful jellyfish stings, and numerous earthquakes. I had to evacuate because of a tsunami alert. Unexpected things can happen when traveling. So being prepared when planning your Japan itinerary, visiting India, adventuring Bali, admiring stunning New Zealand scenery, or exploring San Francisco and Los Angeles is key.

According to United States Geological Survey, there are around 20,000 earthquakes each year around the World or approximately 55 per day.

Most of my ‘how to stay safe during an earthquake’ knowledge come from times when living in New Zealand and traveling through Japan and other countries around the Ring of Fire. Countries with one the highest risks of earthquakes.

Knowing how to stay safe during an earthquake can make a huge difference in your safety and well-being, especially if you don’t have access to all of the resources you would normally have at home. Travel smart and educate where you are going. And what can potentially happen while there. You won’t panic and will know what to do and how to react.

This guide will provide you with helpful earthquake safety tips and steps on what to do during an earthquake to maximize safety and minimize damages while you’re traveling.

Want more travel tips?
ALSO READ:
GET OVER JET LAG WITH THESE 19 EASY-TO-FOLLOW TIPS
13 EASY WAYS TO MAKE YOU MORE SUSTAINABLE TRAVELER
HOW TO BARGAIN ON YOUR TRAVELS: 17 ESSENTIAL BARGAINING TIPS

Interested in travel itinerary ideas?
ALSO READ:

HOW TO SPEND FIVE DAYS IN DUBAI: RELAXED TRAVEL ITINERARY
HOW TO SPEND TWELVE DAYS IN ZANZIBAR: PERFECT ITINERARY
HOW TO SPEND SEVENTEEN DAYS IN JAPAN: FIRST TIME ITINERARY
HOW TO SPEND A HALF DAY AT GRAND CANYON SOUTH RIM

Disclosure (being transparent and honest should be fun): You know the way I run this blog. I only recommend products, experiences, hotels, etc. that I personally tried and actually own and use. And some that I am positive will be helpful for you. On this site, you will see pretty colorful links which are known as ”affiliate links”. If you click on this link and buy something you like, I’ll earn some money. I’m talking huge bucks here, like a new Tesla, yacht, and 7-bedroom mansion. Ok, honestly, most of the time it will be enough to help me buy treats for my dog and parrot, eco-friendly travel products or to help me build the time machine, and travel back in time to see the dinosaurs, do an interview of stone crafters on Easter island and have a serious chat with masterminds who ‘invented’ Maths. Thank you! Read more in Disclaimer.

Don’t have time to read now? Pin it for later!

Inside this ultimate traveler safety guide, you will find out how to stay safe during an earthquake. How to prepare for a quake, what to do during an earthquake and what to do after. Remember: Drop! Cover! Hold on! What to do if you are inside, outside or in a car. This earthquake safety tips are great when in Japan, India or other earthquake prone areas.

Earthquake | Earthquake safety | drop cover hold | ring of fire | earth science

#travelsafety #safetravel #geography #earthscience #italy
Inside this ultimate traveler safety guide, you will find out how to stay safe during an earthquake. How to prepare for a quake, what to do during an earthquake and what to do after. Remember: Drop! Cover! Hold on! What to do if you are inside, outside or in a car. This earthquake safety tips are great when in Japan, India or other earthquake prone areas.

Earthquake | Earthquake safety | drop cover hold | ring of fire | earth science

#travelsafety #safetravel #geography #earthscience #italy

1. Where do earthquakes occur? Know the risk!

Knowledge is power. And traveling safely is sexy.

Earthquakes can occur anywhere, but they are more likely to occur in earthquake-prone areas, alongside the fault line. Some of the most touristic countries also have the highest risk of earthquakes. If you plan to visit or live in any of them, be prepared and know what to do when the ground starts shaking.

The area, where the big majority of earthquakes occur, is the circle around the Pacific Ocean, also known as the Ring of Fire. Countries along the edge, like Japan, New Zealand,  China, Philippines, Alaska, California, Mexico, Peru, and Chile get earthquakes because of the sliding tectonic plates.

Another zone, also very prone to earthquakes, is stretching all the way from Indonesia with Bali, Sumatra, through the Himalayas, India, Iran, Turkey to Greece, and Italy. The cause of the earthquakes are the movements of the tectonic plates.

Earthquakes can happen also because of volcano eruptions so they can be common in areas with active volcanoes, like Iceland and Hawaii.

Map of Earth’s fault lines where earthquakes are most common.

Inside this ultimate traveler safety guide, you will find out how to stay safe during an earthquake. How to prepare for a quake, what to do during an earthquake and what to do after. Remember: Drop! Cover! Hold on! What to do if you are inside, outside or in a car. This earthquake safety tips are great when in Japan, India or other earthquake prone areas.

Earthquake | Earthquake safety | drop cover hold | ring of fire | earth science

#travelsafety #safetravel #geography #earthscience #italy

2. How to prepare for an earthquake?

Preparation is key. Being prepared for an earthquake can make a huge difference in your safety and reactions when the ground is starting to shake.

On my third day in New Zealand, all the newcomers were invited to the town meeting. There we were introduced to the fault line, running just under the town. We were told that the big earthquake along the Alpine Fault is ‘expected’ to occur soon… the meeting went on for about an hour and we were told what could happen and how to prepare.

Like, I am not going to lie, that meeting was intense. And I came out as pale as a ghost. I didn’t even sleep for the next couple of nights. But, knowing what to expect, and how to prepare, helped a lot. In a year that I There were a lot of earthquakes, bigger and smaller when I was there and being prepared helped me to stay calmer and not panic.

HOW TO PREPARE YOURSELF FOR AN EARTHQUAKE

  • Identify the safest places in your room. Underneath sturdy pieces of furniture is best. Stay away from windows (they will break) and heavy pieces of furniture (they will fall). 
  • Research the area you are visiting and learn where the earthquake emergency shelters are;
  • Think about an evacuation plan and where to go. 
  • Have an emergency kit packed and ready.
Inside this ultimate traveler safety guide, you will find out how to stay safe during an earthquake. How to prepare for a quake, what to do during an earthquake and what to do after. Remember: Drop! Cover! Hold on! What to do if you are inside, outside or in a car. This earthquake safety tips are great when in Japan, India or other earthquake prone areas.

Earthquake | Earthquake safety | drop cover hold | ring of fire | earth science

#travelsafety #safetravel #geography #earthscience #italy
Have an emergency kit packed, in a visible place, and ready to go.

WHAT SHOULD BE INSIDE EARTHQUAKE EMERGENCY KIT

  • at least 2 day’s supply of drinking water;
  • canned food, dry food, snacks;
  • flashlight and a whistle;
  • personal hygiene products;
  • first aid kit;
  • copy of your documents in a sealed bag + phone numbers of your important contacts (family, friends, airline, tour company), and a number of your closest embassy;
  • warm clothes and personal hygiene items;
  • Swiss knife and small rope;
  • power bank and matches/lighter;
  • pen and paper;
  • money.

We were also told to pack: water purification tablets, large white sheet.

Pin those for a later read!

Inside this ultimate traveler safety guide, you will find out how to stay safe during an earthquake. How to prepare for a quake, what to do during an earthquake and what to do after. Remember: Drop! Cover! Hold on! What to do if you are inside, outside or in a car. This earthquake safety tips are great when in Japan, India or other earthquake prone areas.

Earthquake | Earthquake safety | drop cover hold | ring of fire | earth science

#travelsafety #safetravel #geography #earthscience #italy
Inside this ultimate traveler safety guide, you will find out how to stay safe during an earthquake. How to prepare for a quake, what to do during an earthquake and what to do after. Remember: Drop! Cover! Hold on! What to do if you are inside, outside or in a car. This earthquake safety tips are great when in Japan, India or other earthquake prone areas.

Earthquake | Earthquake safety | drop cover hold | ring of fire | earth science

#travelsafety #safetravel #geography #earthscience #italy

3. What to do during an earthquake?

Earthquakes happen unexpectedly. There may be warning signs, just seconds before the grounds start to shake. Like very loud noise resembling a herd of horses running towards you, or the sound of a train coming. Animals might behave or act weirdly.

When the ground starts to shake, it is extremely important to stay calm and not to panic. Keep your mind cool and collected. Depending on where you are at the time of the earthquake, this is what you should do.

Stop! Drop! Cover! Hold on!

Inside this ultimate traveler safety guide, you will find out how to stay safe during an earthquake. How to prepare for a quake, what to do during an earthquake and what to do after. Remember: Drop! Cover! Hold on! What to do if you are inside, outside or in a car. This earthquake safety tips are great when in Japan, India or other earthquake prone areas. Earthquake | Earthquake safety | drop cover hold | ring of fire | earth science #travelsafety #safetravel #geography #earthscience #italy

IF YOU ARE INDOORS

If you are inside of the building, hostel, hotel, house … stay there.

It is important to remember that earthquakes usually don’t last long. So you won’t be able to do much. Plus the magnitude and intensity of an earthquake will limit your ability to move significantly. Racing outside can result in injuries because of panic and falls.

That is why your best option is to STOP everything that you are doing. DROP to the ground, hide under a desk or other sturdy object. COVER your head and neck. Protect yourself from immediate dangers and HOLD ON to the object that you are hiding beneath. Be sure to stay close to the ground, as this will reduce your risk of injury.

Inside this ultimate traveler safety guide, you will find out how to stay safe during an earthquake. How to prepare for a quake, what to do during an earthquake and what to do after. Remember: Drop! Cover! Hold on! What to do if you are inside, outside or in a car. This earthquake safety tips are great when in Japan, India or other earthquake prone areas. Earthquake | Earthquake safety | drop cover hold | ring of fire | earth science #travelsafety #safetravel #geography #earthscience #italy

If you find yourself in a skyscraper or higher building, stay away from the outside walls. Move away from the windows and (if you have time) close the inside curtain so that the breaking window glass will not scatter. Do not use elevators or staircases. Stay away from bookcases, chandeliers, and other items that may fall.

If you are in bed, stay in bed. Do not move until the shaking has stopped and protect your head and neck with a pillow.

While indoors, your biggest concern is to protect yourself from falling objects.
Don’t use stairs and elevators. Don’t run out on balconies. Do not touch plugged-in electrical appliances. 

DO NOT seek cover under the doorway. Once a popular safety tip is actually wrong. Standing under the doorway leaves your head unprotected, and in modern constructions, doorways are not ‘the strongest’ part or part of the skeleton of the building. Standing in a doorframe can get you seriously injured.

DON’T follow “triangle of life” practices. There might be voids between objects. But during shaking they might move and they can also topple and fall.  And a strong table will do a better job protecting your head and neck, than a ‘hopeful’ empty space.

Pin the one you like more.

Inside this ultimate traveler safety guide, you will find out how to stay safe during an earthquake. How to prepare for a quake, what to do during an earthquake and what to do after. Remember: Drop! Cover! Hold on! What to do if you are inside, outside or in a car. This earthquake safety tips are great when in Japan, India or other earthquake prone areas. Earthquake | Earthquake safety | drop cover hold | ring of fire | earth science #travelsafety #safetravel #geography #earthscience #italy
Inside this ultimate traveler safety guide, you will find out how to stay safe during an earthquake. How to prepare for a quake, what to do during an earthquake and what to do after. Remember: Drop! Cover! Hold on! What to do if you are inside, outside or in a car. This earthquake safety tips are great when in Japan, India or other earthquake prone areas. Earthquake | Earthquake safety | drop cover hold | ring of fire | earth science #travelsafety #safetravel #geography #earthscience #italy

IF YOU ARE OUTDOORS

If you are outside when an earthquake happens, move to an open area drop to the ground, and protect your head and neck.

Stay away from buildings, powerlines, and trees or bridges that can fall and collapse.

IF YOU ARE IN A CAR

If you are in a car, safely stop it in a clear location. Away from the tall buildings, trees, and powerlines. Don’t stop on a bridge or under the bridge. Turn off the car and turn on the warning lights. Stay in car and wait in a brace position for the shaking to stop.

When the shaking has stopped, avoid structures (underpasses or overpasses) that could be damaged by an earthquake.

Inside this ultimate traveler safety guide, you will find out how to stay safe during an earthquake. How to prepare for a quake, what to do during an earthquake and what to do after. Remember: Drop! Cover! Hold on! What to do if you are inside, outside or in a car. This earthquake safety tips are great when in Japan, India or other earthquake prone areas. Earthquake | Earthquake safety | drop cover hold | ring of fire | earth science #travelsafety #safetravel #geography #earthscience #italy

4. What to do after the earthquake?

When the shaking is over, stay calm, cool and collected.

WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER A MAJOR EARTHQUAKE AND WHAT TO DO:

  • Be prepared for aftershocks. Aftershocks, which can be almost as strong as the previous earthquake, can occur only after a couple of minutes and can last for days. Even months if the initial earthquake was of high intensity.
  • When shaking stops, take your emergency kit and leave building. 
  • Let your friends and family know you are safe. Facebook has a cool feature ‘marked safe’. Get in touch with your embassy and emergency contacts. Save your phone’s battery.
  • Use your food and water sparingly.
  • Pay attention to other natural disasters, caused by an earthquake.
    • Tsunamis may happen in coastal areas. If you see that there is ‘no water’ in the ocean or a lake, aim for high ground.
    • In mountainous areas, pay attention to landslides. Find open areas and don’t stay in narrow valleys.
  • Due to the shaking, electricity and phone connection may be cut off. Even so, do not touch or move electrical appliances and power cords. They may be electrified.
  • Turn off all appliances (if there is a switch on a wall), water taps and stoves. There might be water and gas leaks, so do not light a match if stuck inside.
  • Avoid elevators and be cautious when using stairs. Watch for cracks in the ground. Don’t go on bridges or overpasses.
  • If you are trapped under the debris, don’t try to move around. Save your energy and don’t try to kick up to avoid other injuries and stirring up dust. If you lost your orientation and don’t know which way is up, let a little saliva out of your mouth. It will slide down because of gravitation. If you can, cover your mouth with a piece of clothing and do not scream (you will inhale more dust). Only call for help when you hear people are around. 
Inside this ultimate traveler safety guide, you will find out how to stay safe during an earthquake. How to prepare for a quake, what to do during an earthquake and what to do after. Remember: Drop! Cover! Hold on! What to do if you are inside, outside or in a car. This earthquake safety tips are great when in Japan, India or other earthquake prone areas. Earthquake | Earthquake safety | drop cover hold | ring of fire | earth science #travelsafety #safetravel #geography #earthscience #italy

How to stay safe during earthquakes, in a nutshell

Stop! Drop! Cover! Hold on!
Most well-known practice to do during an earthquake.

Earthquakes can be frightening and dangerous events, but knowing what to do during and earthquake, how to prepare for an earthquake and what to do after the earthquake can make all the difference.

When an earthquake happens, your biggest concern should be to protect yourself from falling objects. The best thing to do when inside is to hide under a sturdy piece of furniture. If in bed, stay in bed but cover your head with a pillow. If you happen to be outside, move away from tall trees, powerlines and tall buildings. Don’t stop on a bridge if in a car.

Inside this ultimate traveler safety guide, you will find out how to stay safe during an earthquake. How to prepare for a quake, what to do during an earthquake and what to do after. Remember: Drop! Cover! Hold on! What to do if you are inside, outside or in a car. This earthquake safety tips are great when in Japan, India or other earthquake prone areas. Earthquake | Earthquake safety | drop cover hold | ring of fire | earth science #travelsafety #safetravel #geography #earthscience #italy


When the shaking stops, take your emergency kit and leave the building. Be careful using the stairs but don’t use an elevator. Let friends and family know you are safe but save your battery life. Pay attention to aftershocks or other possible disasters. Stay cool, calm and collected because help is on its way. 

Share this guide with others and make sure that everyone is aware of what to do in the case of an earthquake.

Have you felt an earthquake before?
Share your experience in the comments!

Stay safe and Shine on,
Anja

Pinning is winning and sharing is caring!

Inside this ultimate traveler safety guide, you will find out how to stay safe during an earthquake. How to prepare for a quake, what to do during an earthquake and what to do after. Remember: Drop! Cover! Hold on! What to do if you are inside, outside or in a car. This earthquake safety tips are great when in Japan, India or other earthquake prone areas.

Earthquake | Earthquake safety | drop cover hold | ring of fire | earth science

#travelsafety #safetravel #geography #earthscience #italy
Inside this ultimate traveler safety guide, you will find out how to stay safe during an earthquake. How to prepare for a quake, what to do during an earthquake and what to do after. Remember: Drop! Cover! Hold on! What to do if you are inside, outside or in a car. This earthquake safety tips are great when in Japan, India or other earthquake prone areas. Earthquake | Earthquake safety | drop cover hold | ring of fire | earth science #travelsafety #safetravel #geography #earthscience #italy

Want more travel tips?
ALSO READ:
GET OVER JET LAG WITH THESE 19 EASY-TO-FOLLOW TIPS
13 EASY WAYS TO MAKE YOU MORE SUSTAINABLE TRAVELER
HOW TO BARGAIN ON YOUR TRAVELS: 17 ESSENTIAL BARGAINING TIPS

Interested in travel itinerary ideas?
ALSO READ:

HOW TO SPEND FIVE DAYS IN DUBAI: RELAXED TRAVEL ITINERARY
HOW TO SPEND TWELVE DAYS IN ZANZIBAR: PERFECT ITINERARY
HOW TO SPEND SEVENTEEN DAYS IN JAPAN: FIRST TIME ITINERARY
HOW TO SPEND A HALF DAY AT GRAND CANYON SOUTH RIM

Do you want to travel like me?
Here are some of my favorite travel tips and resources;

FLIGHTS: I use Google Flights to find the best flight deals. The destination everywhere feature is perfect to find some cheap deals!

ACCOMMODATION: Booking.com is my favorite site for finding great hotel deals.

RENTAL CARS: When planning an epic road trip, I travel with Discover Cars.

TOURS & ACTIVITIES: I like to wander around on my own, but when I want to explore with a group I book a tour with GetYourGuide.


Skipped to the good part? Here is the gist

Earthquakes can be frightening and dangerous events, but being prepared and knowing what to do before, during, and after can make all the difference. Inside this ultimate traveler safety guide, you will find out how to stay safe during an earthquake. How to prepare for an earthquake, what to do during an earthquake, and what to do after an earthquake. It will tell you what are the safest areas, what to do inside (home, hostel or hotel), and what to do if you are outside when the grounds are starting to shake. And don’t forget. Stop! Drop! Cover! Hold on!

I hope now you know what to do during an earthquake to stay safe.

If you found this blog helpful, follow me on Instagram and Pinterest. Or you can subscribe to my YouTube channel. Here you will find a lot of travel tips, itineraries, and packing hacks completely for free. If you want to see more of it and would like to encourage me to post even more, you can say thanks and buy me a coffee.


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About Anja On Adventure

anja on Adventure

Anja On Adventure is a travel blog, a collection of insider tips and information on destinations, that I visited as a solo female traveler, tour guide, teacher, yacht stewardess, and Survivor challenge tester.

Anja, is a thirty-something adventure-seeking, sun chasing, beach hopping, gin-loving, tropics enthusiast with a creative mind and sarcastic spirit, who loves coconut and mango but doesn’t like chocolate and sweets. I am passionate about all things travel, maps, and puzzles. Click here to learn more About me.

1 thought on “ULTIMATE TRAVELER SAFETY GUIDE: WHAT TO DO DURING AN EARTHQUAKE”

  1. This is a very useful post and everyone should be aware of how to react and be prepared in such an unfortunate event. It is always better to be well prepared.

    Reply

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