Here are 6 things NOT to do after an earthquake.
Some of them may seem obvious, but remember that people may not act and think rationally in an emergency; after a major earthquake, people may be confused and in shock.
Try to keep these in mind, and be adequately prepared to minimize risks.
Don’t use a car to evacuate.
When evacuating, do so on foot. Remember that roads may be jammed, impassable, or damaged, and traffic lights may not be working. Large numbers of people evacuating in cars could bring traffic to a standstill, and exacerbate the situation.
Don’t walk around your home barefoot or in socks.
If a quake happens at 3 am, you may be disoriented. One of the most common post-earthquake injuries is cuts to feet. Remember that glass from furniture, kitchenware, and windows may be scattered all over the floor. To avoid these injuries, prepare a pair of shoes by your bed, and keep a torch (flashlight) accessible at all times.
Don’t flick light switches.
In the worst case scenario, this could spark a fire or an explosion. As above, prepare a torch (flashlight) near your bed and in other accessible places to make sure you can see without electricity.
Don’t use elevators.
Stay away from elevators, as there is the possibility of getting stuck in the event of an aftershock, power outage, etc. Even if you live on the 30th floor, be prepared to use the stairs…
Don’t use matches, lighters, etc.
Whether it is to stay warm, to improve visibility, or to have a cigarette, do not use matches or a lighter after a major earthquake unless you are absolutely certain that there is no gas leakage. Try to maintain a good ventilation flow in your home.
Don’t reset your circuit breaker prematurely.
According to the Tokyo Metropolitan Govenmernt, attempting to restore the electricity flow to your house prematurely could start a fire or explosion. If you are heading to the evacuation center, remember to turn off the electricity breaker before evacuating, to avoid fires once the electricity is restored.