Serious injury & disability

Key earthquake tips for people with disabilities and other access or functional needs

During an earthquake

During an earthquake, it is vital to protect yourself. When shaking begins, if possible:

  • drop down to the floor
  • take Cover under a table or desk, or cover your head and neck with your arms
  • hold on to the leg or other part of the furniture until the shaking stops.

What to do if you can't drop, cover and hold

If you are unable to drop, cover and hold:

  • Get as low as possible and move away from windows or other items that can fall on you
  • If you use a wheelchair; lock your wheels and remain seated until the shaking stops
  • Do not try to move from your wheelchair, chair, or bed during the shaking. Wait for the shaking to stop before transferring
  • If you're in bed, pull the sheets and blankets over you and use your pillow to protect your head.
  • Always protect your head and neck with your arms, a pillow, a book, or whatever is available.

People with physical disabilities or movement limitations

The shaking motion may increase difficulties for those with mobility or balance issues.

  • Get to the floor in a seated position, and against an inside wall if possible.
  • Protect your head and neck with your arms.

People who are deaf or have hearing impairments

  • Before an emergency, develop an emergency plan - including building a personal support network
  • Ask your personal support network to alert you to warnings and keep you informed of updates.
  • Drop, Cover and Hold during an earthquake.

People who are blind or vision impaired

  • Drop, Cover and Hold during an earthquake.
  • Earthquakes can cause items to fall and furniture to shift. Regular sound clues may not be available afterwards.
  • Move with caution.