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 you do when an earthquake hits? Cover in place? Run outside?

It’s a decision one must instantly make when the shaking begins. Californian natives might instinctively drop under a table, cover their head and hold tight. Out-of-staters might feel an urge to flee out the door.

During the global ShakeOut drill held at 10:19 a.m. PDT on Thursday, one common refrain was to drop, cover and hold on.

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

The last person to die in a California earthquake, during the 2014 Napa temblor, was a

EDITION: California | U.S. & World
65°