Earthquake - don't stand in a doorway - forget the "triangle" - here's what to do

Sunday, July 14, 2019

This week's earthquake was 4.6 magnitude. It struck at Three Lakes, Washington, in Snohomish county and shook much of our region. No significant impacts or damages have been reported within King County. There were a few aftershocks.

According to King County Emergency News:

When the earth shakes, know what to do: Drop, Cover, and Hold On!

Be informed, and tell others: Drop, Cover, and Hold On” is your best move to reduce injury and death during an earthquake in the United States.
  • DROP to the floor
  • Take COVER under a sturdy table, desk, or chair
  • HOLD ON until the shaking stops
Being ready for an earthquake includes practicing what you’ll do when the earth shakes so that a safe response becomes automatic. 

Residents and businesses are encouraged to participate in the annual Washington Great ShakeOut earthquake drill, which is will be held on October 17, 2019 at 10:17am.

Don’t be misled by the "triangle of life"

The “triangle of life” technique for surviving an earthquake incorrectly directs people to use “voids” or “empty spaces”. Methods like standing in a doorway, lying alongside furniture, or running outside are considered dangerous and are not recommended. 

Here’s why:
  • Many injuries from earthquakes are caused from people running around while the ground is shaking. They fall down, run into furniture, step on broken glass, or are hit by falling objects.
  • In and around older buildings especially, there is a much higher likelihood of broken windows, falling bricks, and other dangerous debris.
  • Despite the urge to flee, experts advise people to stay put – you are more protected indoors under a sturdy desk or table.
  • Earthquakes in the U.S. do not typically result in total building collapse (also known as “pancaking”) due to higher building construction standards.


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