New Zealand Earthquake (2011)

When a big earthquake hits, your first instinct can mean life or death

When a big earthquake hits, your first instinct can mean life or death

What should be done when an earthquake hits? Run outside? Or drop, cover and hold on?

It’s a question that many instantly must make a reaction to when an earthquake strikes. Californians born in this state might instinctively drop under a table, cover their head and hold tight. Out-of-staters might feel an urge to flee out the door.

As Californians heard as they participated in the global ShakeOut drill at 10:19 a.m. Thursday, a common refrain for many in the United States is to drop, cover and hold on.

There’s a reason for that. Many deaths in California’s past earthquakes have come from moving objects inside a room — like a loose television or a falling...

EDITION: California | U.S. & World
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