Preparing for the eventuality of an earthquake in Israel
Free translation of Haifa municipality site
Destructive earthquakes have occurred in our region and experts predict that
earthquakes will occur in the future. The time of occurrence of the earthquake
cannot be predicted and may occur tomorrow, next month or in a few years. But
there is no doubt that a great earthquake will occur and we must prepare ourselves.
Experience worldwide shows that the preparation of people to a correct behavior in
case an earthquake occurs can save lives and limit damage
How to recognize an earthquake?
During an earthquake, you feel the floor vibrate, the windows rattle in their
tracks, objects and furniture began to move strangely, the lamps hanging from the
ceiling swing. It becomes difficult to be stable and move, as if we were standing on
a rocking boat on the waves.
Behavior to have during an earthquake
If you are in a building and you feel the floor shaking under your feet, run as
quickly as possible to a safe location according to the following choices:
- Open space-if you can leave the building immediately (within seconds)
Exit. This is recommended especially if you are in a ground floor or in a building
that you can leave in a few seconds
- Protected Area- Mamad or staircase - if you cannot leave immediately outside,
run as quickly as possible to the stairwell or the protected space. Sit and wait for
the end of the tremors. This is recommended especially if you live in a high rise
building or any other structure from where you cannot go out in seconds
- Under a heavy table or in a corner of an inner chamber - if you cannot go quickly
outside, to a staircase or to a protected area. Take cover under a table or in an
inner corner inside the house
Further instructions while remaining in all types of buildings
When you are in a safe place as described above
- Keep away from exterior walls, windows and shelves.
- Protect yourself in the following way: kneel down, stay on the ground, protect
your head and your face with your hands
If you are in a wheelchair
- Lock it and protect your head.
- Do not use an elevator during the earthquake or after - you might get stuck inside.
If the earthquake occurs while you're outside the building
- Stay outside and keep as far as possible of buildings. This is the safest place
- Watch for falling objects such as walls, stone cladding, compressors for air
conditioners, broken glass.
If the earthquake occurs when you're driving
- Stop immediately and wait in the car until the shaking stops - Your car will
- Do not stop under a bridge on the interchange, near buildings or in a steep slope
is due to risk of collapse
- Step away by car or on foot
If you're on the beach during an earthquake,
-Immediately leave the beach and go as far as possible, for fear of being caught up
in a wave of tsunami [tidal wave that would inundate the shore).
After an earthquake:
- Do not use your cell phone
- Do not light fires or electrical switch of any kind for fear of an explosion due to
- Exit the building and stay in an open area away from buildings. Before leaving
the building, shut off the gas valve and firing the main power circuit breaker of the
apartment. In addition, we also recommend that you close the main gas valve for
the entire building. The gas supply will be restored by a qualified technician after
checking that tough all faucets are closed
- Do not enter damaged buildings without a permit from a structural engineer,
except for rescue
- Listen to the radio (eg in your car) for information and instructions.
If you are in the immediate vicinity of people trapped under the rubble, use
common sense and use the means at hand.
- Lift heavy objects such as a car jack or an iron bar, and dispense first medical
aid if possible.
If you are trapped under the rubble
-Try to get by.
- Protect your airways against dust with a piece of clothing
- Do not exhaust yourself by shouting
- Tap on a pipe or wall to allow rescuers to locate you.
- Do not light a fire!
Aftershocks from the earthquake
Be prepared that there will be a replica - These vibrations occur minutes, days or
months after the earthquake and can cause the collapse of structures weakened by
the first earthquake.
How to prepare in advance for an earthquake?
The most significant way to prevent accidents and property damages during an
earthquake is to ensure that the structure of your home can withstand
earthquakes. We recommend that an engineer specialist in reinforcements check if
your home meets the Israeli standards of structures for earthquake resistance (type
413). Buildings constructed before 1980 are apparently not consistent with the
requirements of this standard.
If the building does not meet the standard, it must be strengthened as soon as
The national plan for strengthening of structures against earthquakes (plan 38)
establishes a legal framework that gives permission to build structures to
earthquakes. The plan encourages the implementation of consolidation by
providing additional building rights to allow at least partial funding for the
consolidation. This program is appropriate for buildings that have received
building permits before 1.1.1980. For more information on the plan 38:
Preparing the house
Most injuries during earthquakes are caused by the collapse of shelves and heavy
objects, broken glass, fires and gas leaks.
So, for today:
- Stabilize libraries, televisions and building shelves to the wall.
- Fasten tanks of solar heating, gas cylinders and air conditioners
- Store toxic substances in a locked place away from heat sources.
- Place heavy objects below.
- Decide in advance, in cooperation with members of the family and as instructed
above, a safe place at home. You should also take a place on your workplace Safe
room-mamad / stairway/ open space
- Make sure all family members know where are the main shutoff valves for gas,
electricity and water.
- Practice how to close them.
- Agree between family members a meeting place in an open space. Agree also
about a contact person who is not your family in case of impossibility of
communication between family members.
- Practice from time to time an exercise in preparation for the earthquake
Emergency supplies of the family:
Prepare emergency supplies in an accessible place in the safe place
The emergency equipment includes:
- Water and food - stocks of water (at least 4 liters per person) and many canned
foods. Take care to renew the stock and check expiry dates for food and beverages
- Essential equipment - first aid kit, flashlight and radio powered by batteries,
medicines, eyeglasses and products for the baby.
- Important documents - electronic or photo copy of medical documents, identity
documents, personal documents, financial documents that you keep outside the
Translated from the site of the Home Front Command
Remember that every thing that can move, fall or break is a source of danger. Prevent and find the
potential risks at home or at work.
- Place heavy objects on lower shelves.
- Flammable and poisonous materials must be placed in special closed or locked cabinets
- Remove or lock the wheels of the refrigerator or any other heavy object, or block them so that they can
- Attach the cooling/boiling water mini bar to a wall with a special metal strip.
Recommended equipment you should keep handy
- Water bottles or jerry cans
- Dry and canned food
- A fire extinguisher
- A first aid set
- A flashlight and a radio transistor operating on batteries.
Guidelines behavior during an earthquake when you are inside a building
- Stay inside the building.
- Take cover under a strong table or stand in a doorway or in the corner of the room furthest from
- Move away from library shelves, built-in cupboards, or any piece of furniture that might fall.
Guidelines for behavior during an earthquake when you are in an open area
- Stay outside.
- Do not enter any building, apartment, room or stairway.
- Stay away from buildings, trees, poles, electricity cables.
- Lay on the ground and protect your head with your hands.
Guidelines for behavior during an earthquake when you are in a vehicle or in a bus
- Stop and stay in the car until the shaking stops
- If you have the possibility to reach an open area, continue your trip carefully. It is important to choose
a way that is free of dangers such as electric cables, bridges etc
Guidelines for behavior after the earthquake
- Before leaving the building, disconnect the electricity and gas and take a transistor radio to be able to
listen to guidelines. In the open, move away from buildings, trees, poles, electric cables etc..