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Earthquakes can occur anywhere, at any time. Since Ontario is not in a coastal area, tidal waves are not a concern. The greatest danger is from falling debris. The safest place during an earthquake is outdoors, away from buildings and overhead wires.

If inside:

  • Don't run outside. Stand in a doorway, get under heavy furniture, or sit or stand against an inside corner wall (basement is best).
  • Turn off gas and power only if gas leaks or electrical damage is observed.
  • Keep away from windows.
  • Keep away from glass, tall shelves, chandeliers, or other heavy objects that may fall.
  • Don't use elevators.

If outdoors:

  • Stay away from buildings, power lines, trees, chimneys, outside walls, and glass windows.
  • If driving, park in an open area, away from buildings, bridges, or overpasses, and stay low in the car. If on or under elevated roadways, get away from that situation immediately, even if it means parking and abandoning your vehicle.

Immediately after the earthquake:

  • Try to remain calm; panic can cause as many casualties as the emergency situation itself.
  • Follow instructions from evacuation section monitors.
  • Evacuate to reassembly areas if so instructed and prepare to support emergency response team members.

After an earthquake, aftershocks may occur for several days. STAY OUT of damaged areas unless requested to help!

  • Don't drive unless necessary; keep streets clear for emergency vehicles.
  • Report broken gas or power lines, water mains, etc., immediately.
  • Keep listening to radio and/or television for instructions. Use telephone only for assistance.

If power is out:

Unplug all electrical equipment, stereo gear, TV sets, computers, audio-visuals and turn off light switches unless needed. When power returns, it may be in a surge and blow out light bulbs and other equipment.

How About Later? Be prepared to stay in the building overnight, and perhaps longer. Do not try to use elevators. Do not leave the floor until authorized to do so. Do not risk becoming a casualty by being careless or by acting independently of everyone else.

When Can You Go Home? You should not try to get home until authorities say it is safe, which will be when the fires (if any) are under control and the streets have been cleared. This may happen quickly, or it may take some time (perhaps 72 hours or more).


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