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EARTHQUAKE    

While O'ahu is at a lower risk for earthquake than Hawai'i Island, these events are still a very real possibility. It is highly likely that in the event of an earthquake on a neighboring island, O'ahu may experience residual effects in the form of a tsunami. Click here for tsunami tips and information. Earthquakes typically occur with no notice or time to prepare in advance for the event. Although our islands occasionally receive advance warnings of impending tsunami waves, earthquakes may happen directly on our islands with no warning.

  • If you are INDOORS - STAY THERE! Shelter under a desk or table and hang onto it, or move into a hallway or stand against an inside wall.
    • Stay clear of windows, fireplaces, and heavy furniture or appliances.
    • Do not seek shelter in the kitchen, as falling appliances create a potential danger for injury.
    • Do not run downstairs or rush outside while the building is shaking or while there is danger of falling and hurting yourself or being hit by falling glass or debris.
  • If you are OUTSIDE - Get into the open, away from buildings, power lines, chimneys, and anything else that might fall on you.
  • If you are DRIVING - Stop, but carefully. Move your car as far out of traffic as possible.
    • Do not stop on or under a bridge or overpass or under trees, light posts, power lines, or signs.
    • Stay inside your car until the shaking stops. When you resume driving, watch for breaks in the pavement, fallen rocks, and bumps in the road at bridge approaches.
  • If you are in a MOUNTAINOUS AREA - Watch out for falling rock, landslides, trees, and other debris that could be loosened by an earthquake.

What do I do after an earthquake?

  • Wear sturdy shoes to avoid injury from broken glass and debris.
  • Be prepared for a possible aftershock.
  • Check for injuries: If a person is bleeding, put direct pressure on the wound, use clean gauze or cloth if available. If a person is not breathing, administer CPR.
  • Seek medical help for serious injuries. Expect delays in emergency services, as police, fire and ambulance may be delayed at other calls.
  • Check for hazards:
    • Fire hazards - put out fires in your home or neighborhood immediately, and call for help.
    • Gas leaks - shut off the main gas valve ONLY if you suspect a leak because of broken pipes or odor.
    • Downed or damaged utility lines - do not touch downed power lines or any objects in contact with them.
    • Spills - clean up any spilled medicines, drugs, or other harmful materials such as bleach, lye, or gas.
    • Fallen items - beware of items tumbling off shelves when you open doors of closets and cupboards.
  • If electricity is off, plan meals to use up frozen foods that will spoil quickly, first.
  • Do not light your kitchen stove if you suspect a gas leak.
  • Use barbecue or camp stoves, outdoors only, for emergency cooking.

 

WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF...

Emergency Management State and Local Resources

 

For more information or inquiries, please contact Emergency Management Coordinator Jimmy Lagunero at lagunero@hawaii.edu or (808) 956-0773.