Earthquake preparedness

Although very strong earthquakes rarely happen in Quebec, you’re not completely out of the woods when it comes to the earth shaking! While you can’t prevent earthquakes, there are steps you can take to deal with them.

Some tips in case of an earthquake

  • Decide with family members where you will meet in case you become separated after an earthquake.
  • Have your emergency kit ready.
  • Place heavy objects on lower shelves to prevent them from falling on someone.
  • Secure tall pieces of furniture and shelves, mirrors, furniture on wheels, TVs and electronic equipment, equipment stored in the garage, and make sure chemical products are securely stored.
  • If you have natural gas appliances or appliances connected to an outside propane tank, makes sure they are secured and that gas lines won’t rupture.
  • Make a detailed inventory of your home’s contents.

During an earthquake

If you’re inside

  • Stay in the building. Don’t rush outside.
  • Keep away from windows, mirrors, glass walls, tall bookshelves, fireplaces and lighting fixtures.
  • Drop! Cover! Hold on! Take cover under a heavy piece of furniture and hold onto it. Otherwise, crouch against a wall and cover your head and neck with your arms.
  • If you’re in a crowded public place, take cover where you won’t be trampled.

If you’re outside

  • Stay away from buildings, power lines and other structures that can collapse, such as advertising billboards.

If you’re in a vehicle

  • Don’t stop on a bridge or overpass, or in an underpass or tunnel.
  • Pull over to the side of the road, and stay inside the vehicle.
  • In a bus, remain seated until the vehicle stops.

After the earthquake

If you’re not injured, check on the persons around you. In case of injury, ask for help. If you’re able to, administer first aid.

If you’re inside

  • Check to see whether your home was damaged. Evacuate if damage is serious.
  • Also leave the premises if a fire has started or gas is leaking. In case of a gas leak, shut off the gas line, turn off the electricity, don’t light a match or use a lighter, and open the windows before you exit the home.

If you leave your home

  • Post a message in clear view saying where you can be located.
  • Take your emergency kit with you.
  • Don’t take the elevator.

If you are outside

  • Don’t enter your home if it’s damaged.
  • Don’t enter another damaged building, even if it looks safe.
  • Wait and listen to safety instructions before entering your home or another building.


The Great Quebec Shakeout

The Great Shakeout drill usually takes place in Quebec in mid-October of each year. This is another way to get prepared for an earthquake. Visit the event’s website for all the information: (in French only).


Be prepared.
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