Drop, Cover, and Hold On


The Drop, Cover and Hold On part of our ShakeOut exercise will start at 10:15 am on Thursday, April 19, 2018. See the schedule for more information, including the text message we will send out to start the exercise.

How (and Why) to Drop, Cover, and Hold On

Demonstration of Drop, Cover, and Hold On by Los Angeles County Fire Department Firefighters

Short file about Drop, Cover, and Hold On by MySafeLA.org

Christchurch, NZ earthquake - Building collapse - Do not run out of buildings!
Notice the man in black who enters the back street from the left at 13 seconds.

  • 13s - Man in black enters camera view from left on the back street.
  • 18s - White van passes behind him.
  • 24s - He is in front of the building that is collapsing.
  • 28s - The parapet above him collapses. Rather than running out the building, he stays put.
  • 57s - The dust clears. Our man is stepping over the parapet rubble.
  • 65s - Proceeds with his stroll.

The moral of the story is: Don't run out of a building that is collapsing. The walls and bricks that are falling off the face of the building are the danger. Instead, Drop, Cover and Hold On until the earth stops shaking, then proceed to exit the building. Watch the videos below to see how best to Drop, Cover, and Hold On.

During an earthquake

(Excerpt from http://www.ready.gov/earthquakes)

Drop, Cover and Hold On.

Minimize your movements to a few steps to a nearby safe place and if you are indoors, stay there until the shaking has stopped and you are sure exiting is safe.

If Indoors

DROP to the ground; take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and HOLD ON until the shaking stops. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building. Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture. Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place. Do not use a doorway except if you know it is a strongly supported, load-bearing doorway and it is close to you. Many inside doorways are lightly constructed and do not offer protection. Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Do not exit a building during the shaking. Research has shown that most injuries occur when people inside buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave. DO NOT use the elevators. Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.

If Outdoors

Stay there. Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires. Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops. The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings, at exits and alongside exterior walls. Many of the 120 fatalities from the 1933 Long Beach earthquake occurred when people ran outside of buildings only to be killed by falling debris from collapsing walls. Ground movement during an earthquake is seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.

If in a Moving Vehicle

Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires. Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that might have been damaged by the earthquake.

If Trapped Under Debris

Do not light a match. Do not move about or kick up dust. Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing. Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you. Use a whistle if one is available. Shout only as a last resort. Shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.


Emergency contacts

Fire, Police, Ambulance:
911 on mobile phone
9-911 on desk phone

Call 801-585-2677 to contact police for other than an emergency

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