Earthquake Early Warning Signs

  • Erratic Animal Behaviour - frightened or confused pets running around, or bird-calls not usually heard at night.

  • Ground-Water Levels - sudden changes of water level in wells or artesian bores.

During the Earthquake

  • If indoors stay there. There could be falling debris outside. Take cover under an internal door frame, sturdy table, bench or bed.

  • Keep away from windows, mirrors, overhead fittings and tall furniture.

  • In multi-storey buildings, stay clear of windows and outer walls. Get under a desk near a pillar or internal wall. Do not use elevators.

  • In crowded areas, do not rush for doors. Stay clear of roof and wall fittings.

  • If outside, keep well clear of buildings, walls, power lines, trees, etc.

  • In a city street, with tall buildings, shelter from falling debris under strong archways or doorways of buildings. Don't stand under awnings or parapets as they may collapse.

  • If in a vehicle, stop in the open until shaking stops. Beware of 'downed' powerlines and damage to roads, overpasses or bridges. Listen to radio for warnings before moving.

After the Earthquake

  • Check for injuries, apply first aid. Do not move the seriously injured unless in danger.

  • Do not use telephone (avoid congestion) unless there is a serious injury or fire.

  • Turn off electricity, gas and water.

  • Check for gas/fuel leaks before lighting matches, using naked flames or operating electrical equipment including light switches

  • Check for water or sewerage leaks, broken electrical wiring etc.

  • Check for cracks and damage, including roof and foundation.

  • Be prepared for aftershocks. Evacuate the building if it is badly damaged.

  • Do not waste food and water as supplies may be interrupted.

  • Collect emergency water from any available source; segregate drinking and non-drinking supplies.

  • Listen to local radio and heed warnings and advice on damage and service disruptions.

  • Avoid driving unless for emergency (keep streets clear for emergency vehicles).

  • Do not go sight-seeing or enter damaged buildings.

  • Stay calm and help others.

Be a resource not a casualty