Step 3: Increase Your Disaster IQ

  1. Earthquakes
  2. Fire
  3. Floods
  4. Tornadoes

Earthquakes are the shaking, rolling, or sudden shock of the earth's surface. Earthquakes happen along "fault lines" in the earth's crust. Earthquakes can be felt over large areas although they usually last less than one minute. Earthquakes cannot be predicted - although scientists are working on it!


Most of the time, you will notice an earthquake by the gentle shaking of the ground. You may notice hanging plants swaying or objects wobbling on shelves. Sometimes you may hear a low rumbling noise or feel a sharp jolt. A survivor of the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco said the sensation was like riding a bicycle down a long flight of stairs.

Drop, Cover & Hold on

Earthquakes are sometimes called temblors, quakes, shakers, or seismic activity. The most important thing to remember during an earthquake is to drop, cover, hold on. So remember to drop to the floor and get under something for cover and hold on during the shaking.


  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)