Stay Safe During an Earthquake

Published: February 29, 2024

Did you feel that? The 4.9 magnitude quake on Monday — centered about 6 miles north of Smiths Ferry or 60 miles north of Boise — was powerful enough to be felt in the Treasure Valley. Seismic activity is common in Idaho, which ranks fifth in the nation for earthquake risk after California, Alaska, Nevada, and Utah.

While the majority of tremors go unnoticed, knowing what to do when a larger quake hits is important. The CWI Emergency Handbook recommends the following:

During an earthquake:

  1. Remain calm.
  2. If indoors:
    1. Seek refuge under a desk or table or in a doorway and hold on.
    2. Stay away from windows, shelves, and heavy equipment.
  3. Do not use elevators. An elevator may become inoperative and a trap.
  4. If outdoors:
    1. Move quickly away from buildings, utility poles, overhead wires, and other structures.
    2. CAUTION: Avoid downed power or utility lines as they may be energized.
    3. Do not attempt to enter buildings until you are advised to do so by the proper authorities.
  5. If in an automobile:
    1. Stop in the safest place available as quickly as safety permits, preferably in an open area away from power lines and trees.
    2. Stay in the vehicle for the shelter it provides.

Shaking with excitement to learn more about earthquakes? CWI offers ground-breaking seismic education in the Geosciences program.

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