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Here is what you should do in New York if you feel another earthquake

Follow these guidelines.

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan

Following the 4.8 magnitude that shook New York up a couple of hours ago, an official message is warning New Yorkers that "aftershocks may be felt."

Authorities are also advising all to continue their usual activities but, in an effort to stay as safe as possible, here are some tips to follow should a similar seismic event happen again:

1. Drop down and protect your head

"When you are located within a building when the quake strikes, immediately move to an area where items cannot fall on you," says Peter Duncanson of ServiceMaster Restore, a restoration company. "Such safe areas include underneath a sturdy table or next to an interior wall. Drop to the ground immediately upon feeling the tremors."

2. Don't even think of going outside...

Especially in Manhattan, where heading outdoors will likely take you some time, experts advise on remaining indoors as an earthquake hits. 

"Remain inside, as close to the ground as possible, until the shaking stops," says Duncanson. 

3. ...But if you're already outside, you might want to move around

"Go to an open area away from trees, telephone poles and buildings," instructs the New York City Emergency Management agency. "Stay there until the shaking stops." 

Remember that most of the danger is connected to the possibility of falling objects, so make sure to always protect your head.

4. Be prepared for sudden aftershocks

This isn't meant to cause a panic but, generally speaking, an earthquake can very well be accompanied by aftershocks that can occur up to a few hours after the initial tremor. Take some time to secure your surroundings just in case another shock comes your way.

"Take care of your home after a quake," advises Duncanson. "This means temporarily turning off your water supply if broken pipes result from the earthquake. Shut off the electricity and natural gas if you notice frayed wires or leaking gas."

5. When all is over, still stay alert

Post-earthquake guidelines are just as important as instructions to follow during the actual event. 

The New York City Emergency Management agency suggests cleaning up spills of hazardous or flammable liquids immediately after the first tremor, opening closet and cabinet doors carefully as items inside of them may have shifted and not using candles or open flames as sources of light. 

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