Proudly Protecting the Communities of Aurora and Newmarket

​​​​​When an earthquake occurs, your first warning may be a swaying sensation if you're in a building, a sudden noise or roar. Next, vibration, quickly followed by rolling up, down, sideways, rotating. It will be scary! It may last a few seconds or go on for a few minutes. The earth won't open up and swallow you. But you could be hurt by breaking glass, falling objects, and heavy things bouncing around. Be prepared for aftershocks.


  • ​Identify safe places in your home or place of work where you will ride out an earthquake. The best protection from falling debris is under heavy furniture. When entering buildings for the first time, remember to locate the exits and look for the best place to ride out an earthquake.Get ready for earthquake safety!
    Prepare your emergency kit, including water, and keep it stored in an easily accessible location.​
  • Bolt bookcases, china cabinets, filing cabinets, and other tall furniture to wall studs. Anchor overhead light fixtures and heavy electronics such as televisions and computers.
  • Keep large or heavy objects on lower shelves and store breakable items in lower cabinets with doors and latches.
  • Inspect and repair electrical wiring and gas connections.
  • Check for structural defects and repair cracks in your ceiling and foundation.
  • Keep toxic and flammable items securely stored in cabinets with doors and latches.
  • Learn how to turn off electricity, gas, and water.

During ​​

  • When the shaking begins, DROP, COVER, and HOLD ON. Move only a few steps to a nearby safe place. The best protection from falling debris is under heavy furniture. The least safe place is directly outside of a building.
  • If you are inside, stay inside until the shaking stops and you're sure it is safe to exit.
  • Stay away from windows, mirrors, or other glass.
  • In a high-rise building, expect the fire alarms and sprinklers to go off even if there is no fire.
  • If you are outside, stay clear of buildings, power lines, overpasses, and elevated expressways.
  • If you are in a vehicle, pull over at a clear location and stop. Stay in the vehicle, with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops.


  • Expect aftershocks, which can occur hours or days after the initial quake.Things can fall down and hurt you during an earthquake
  • If you live in a coastal area, be aware of possible tsunamis. Listen to portable battery operated TV or radio for emergency updates.
  • Check for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear a hissing or blowing noise, open a window and leave the building immediately. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve, if possible, and call 9-1-1. Only use your phone to call if you can safely distance yourself from the odor of the gas. Remember not to use any appliance or open flame in areas where you still smell gas. Watch for fallen power lines.
  • Open cabinets and doors cautiously.

For more information, visit the National Fire Protection Association at​.

Developed by NFPA. Funding provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Domestic Preparedness.