This is what you do when an earthquake strikes. STOP in place, DROP to the ground, take COVER under anything sturdy, and HOLD ON to the item you’re underneath. If there’s nothing nearby to take cover under, simply COVER your head with your hands.
You don’t know the extent of damage around you. Now is the time to stay calm and look around you. If it’s safe to move, assess your area, and those who might be near you.
Running outside might be very dangerous. It’s rarely the earthquake the kills or injures people, it’s the buildings. In California, building codes and retrofit laws have assured that most buildings that are surprisingly safe during an earthquake. Being inside one of these is often the safest place to ride out an earthquake. Outside, there could be dangerous debris, falling from structures, or already covering the area.
Experts used to advise people to stand in doorways. That’s before buildings codes were created that made buildings more resilient to earthquakes. Now there is no benefit to standing in a doorway. First of all, standing is difficult when the ground is shaking. Second of all, the door will likely slam shut during the shaking, and that means you and your fingers will pay the price!