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Drop, Cover - Hold On

Drop, Cover - Hold On

Drop, Cover and Hold On


Life saving advice during earthquakes

"Drop Cover and Hold On" is the most widely recognized method of seeking shelter during an earthquake. Having been taught in schools and educational institutes throughout most parts of the world, students practice to Drop Cover and Hold On during safety drills starting from an early age. Emergency experts and safety organizations have adopted this theory as being the safest method to get through an earthquake.

The idea behind Drop Cover and Hold On is to get under a table or desk or similar object during an earth quake and to hold on to one leg of the table to prevent it from 'walking away' from you during the shaking of the ground. Being underneath a table or similar structure will provide more safety from falling objects such as decorating items, ceiling lamps, broken glass from mirrors, windows or sliding glass doors and portions of ceiling plaster for example.

While opponents of the Drop Cover and Hold On safety rule argue that a table might not be strong enough to withstand the weight of larger falling objects or an entire ceiling for example, it is commonly understood that the protective tabletop surface will provide protection against bodily injury from falling objects compared to not having a solid tabletop or similar panel covering the body.

Drop Cover and Hold On - outlined
  • Get under the nearest table, desk or similar item and Drop, Cover and Hold On
  • Take cover within 3 seconds or less! Time is of the essence.
  • But get out of the kitchen! Cabinets will open and unload piles of dishes and glass ware.
  • Stay away from windows, glass doors, mirrors and sliding closet doors. When placed under pressure, glass will break and sharp shards of glass can come flying like razor blades.
  • Stay under the table or desk for a while longer, even if the shaking appears to have stopped. Some items might still come falling and being covered can protect you against falling objects from shelves.
  • Also consider aftershocks which can knock loose items that might still be hanging on.
  • Resist the urge to run outside, unless it is unsafe or life threatening to stay inside due to fire, gas leak or similar. Remember that falling roof tiles, falling windows and other debris might place you in even greater danger than you might face inside.
  • When leaving a building during an earthquake, make sure you are at least 1.5 to 2 times the height of the structure away from any surrounding building to reduce the risk of being hit by falling debris.

  • Earthquake Information - Geological Background
    Earthquakes are a natural phenomenon that can not be stopped nor predicted in advance.