No Warning, Advisory or Watch is in effect for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

What to do after an earthquake

  • After an earthquake, the most important thing is to stay calm and activate your emergency plan. It’s necessary to keep informed of what is happening through secure sources; it’s ideal to have your own radio or NOAA radio with you so that you are aware of the routes established in your plan are suitable or if a tsunami is coming.
  • If you have children, after an earthquake it’s important that you encourage them to talk about their fears and explain that earthquakes are a natural phenomenon or try to distract them. Spend time with them and observe their behavior, if needed, seek psychological help. Apart from that, if you have a pet remember that after a situation of emergencies and stress for the animals their behavior can change and become aggressive or defensive so watch your animal closely and treat with love.
  • After an earthquake in the long term and when you’re authorized by the authorities to return home, inspect the structure by observing the roof, walls, floors and check for cracks (a crack is an opening in the wall, it’s not the same as a detachment of plaster) that may cause the structure to collapse, have evidence (photos) and report them to the Emergency Management Office in your town. Remember to close and check gas and/or electrical lines, as well as water pipes to ensure that they are in good condition and suitable for use. It’s important that if you are not sure of the condition of your equipment don’t use them, or light any candles since there may be a gas leak that could cause fires, aggravating the situation.
  • It’s necessary to cooperate with the authorities, including policemen, firemen, rescuers, among others. In the case of children, let them know that the authorities they should follow if they are in their home are their parents or guardians, and if they are in school their teachers. Avoid putting your life in danger, if you notice an injured person or under rubble inform the relevant authorities. If you are in a safe place, stay there and do not go to unstable places where you put your life at risk, remember that after a strong earthquake, aftershocks can occur and you could be affected. If you have to vacate, be aware of debris, electric cables or glass that could cause injuries.
  • After a strong earthquake, communications could be affected so it’s important to have a call tree set up in your backpack to minimize the calls. It’s important to NOT make unnecessary calls and to only use the phone when it’s extremely necessary. Consider sending text messages to shorten the communication usage time. Often communications are affected in the exclusive place where the earthquake occurred, but if you make a call to relative from another country it’s possible that the call may go through, this is another option to let your family know that you are okay because the lack of awareness of such information can be stressful and worrisome for some families and be the cause of many missteps at the time of protection.
  • Finally, it’s vital that you remember to reequip your backpack and continue preparing because the whole year is earthquake season. Don’t forget that earthquakes are a natural phenomenon that turns into disasters when we don’t take time to review, plan and especially execute the emergency plan.