Former FEMA Residential Earthquake Damage Inspector Howard Cook defines earthquake disaster preparedness:  what you need to do in order to prepare and what to do when the actual shaking starts.  One of the first things I would like to stress is that the “Duck, Cover, and Hold” recommendation of the Red Cross as part of their earthquake disaster preparedness advice is usually not possible.

Once a big earthquake hits, you will probably not be able to stand let alone run to a table, duck underneath, and hold onto the legs.   In fact, you could get injured doing so.  The best thing for you to do is drop to the floor as far away from any objects that may fall as you can, cover your head and wait for the shaking to stop.  If you have children, do not run to them.  If you must move during the earthquake, crawl.  One of the best things you can do for your own earthquake disaster preparedness is to make sure furniture and other loose objects cannot fall on your head.