Are You Gonna Drop, Cover, and Hold On When An Earthquake Strikes?

Watch Ron teach a family how to drop, cover and hold on.

Have you heard the phrase “Drop, Cover, and Hold On”? Do you know why people keep saying it? One reason. In an earthquake, drop, cover, and hold on can save your life.

“Drop, Cover, and Hold On” or DCHO is the ideal plan for keeping yourself safe during an earthquake. You should be able to do the DHCO wherever you happen to be when an earthquake strikes. Make a game out of it with your friends and family. Say, “Earthquake! Do the DCHO” and see who knows what to do and how fast they can do it.  When we paid a visit to Telstarlogistic‘s Todd Lapin, he and his daughter Miel had never done the DCHO before.  We showed them how and Miel had a lot of fun doing the DCHO.

The folks at the Great American Shakeout even have a website solely devoted to DCHO. Check out Drop, Cover and Hold to find out everything you ever wanted to know about how to DCHO. In fact, a visit there will help you answer all the questions on our DCHO quiz below.

Earthquake! What Are You Going to do If…

1. You have just hopped in the car to head to work in the morning, when suddenly the shaking starts. Do you…
A) Drive back home immediately to make sure your family is okay
B) stop the car where you are, hop out and run away
C) pull over, set the parking brake, & stay where you are till the shaking stops

2. It is bedtime, and you have just turn out the light. As the ground shakes do you…
A) stay in bed and cover your head with a pillow
B) jump out of bed and run to the doorway
C) jump out of bed and run to hide under the dining room table

3. You are at your favorite baseball team’s playoff game. It’s the 4th inning and your guys are up when the whole stadium starts to move.
Do you…
A) run from your seat to the nearest supporting wall
B) stay in your seat and cover your head with your arms till the shaking stops
C) make your way down to the field cause that seems like the safest place

Want to know the answers?
1-C. Having a car surrounding you is excellent protection from an earthquake. Why would you get out? We know you are worried about everyone at home, but what good are you to them if you get in an accident? When you pull over, do be careful to avoid overpasses and bridges. A clear, open area is your best bet. Once the shaking stops you can check the radio for emergency broadcasts. Thank goodness you put that emergency kit in your car. You did that, right?

2-A. “But what about drop, cover, and hold on?” Fact is, with all those pillows, you are less likely to be hurt by flying debris if you just stay where you are. Just cover your head with pillows and wait out the earthquake. Then grab your flashlight from  your under-the-bed bag (you have one there, right?) and take stock of what the earthquake has done. You are probably not going to get any more sleep tonight.

3-B. Lucky for you, most stadiums in California have been built to withstand most earthquakes without hurting anyone. Just stay in your seat and cover your head to avoid any flying debris. Your mitt will work well to protect your head. Then make your way out in a slow and orderly fashion. Did you know public places like baseball stadiums have public emergency exit plans? Take a look at the one for your favorite team the next time you go to a ballgame.

Posted in Featured Video, Totally Unprepared

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Get totally prepared!

See our "Get Ready Quick" section in English, Chinese and Spanish, and download our easy checklists.

Get tips via email

Preparedness mobile apps
Tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes oh my! The Red Cross can teach you to be prepared for any disaster with their collection of preparedness and safety apps.