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4 smart driving tips if you're caught in an earthquake

Earthquakes aren’t seasonal; they can occur at any time of day or night, at any time of the year and during any weather condition. Keeping this in mind – it’s important to be prepared. Follow these tips to stay safe during an earthquake:

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When the earthquake starts

If you feel an earthquake starting to shake the ground while you’re driving, find a place to pull over as quickly as possible. Turn on your hazard lights once you pull over. Try to find a safe spot that is clear away from any large buildings, trees, underpasses or overpasses that could potentially fall.

While it’s happening

Do not attempt to get out of your vehicle to find shelter. It is safer to stay right where you are. Turn off your engine immediately – this could prevent your car from catching fire if the earthquake damages your vehicle or ruptures your gas tank. Turn on your radio to listen for news updates or possible directions from emergency broadcasting. If you smell gasoline, get out of your vehicle immediately.

When it’s over

Don’t attempt to drive anywhere unless you’re sure that the earthquake has ended. Be extra cautious when you do begin to drive –  you never know what kind of damage happened in the areas around you. Pay attention to your surroundings. There may be downed powerlines, cracked or damaged roads, overpasses or bridges. Watch for traffic lights. If the power was knocked out, they may not work. Treat a light without power like a 4-way stop to avoid a collision. The earthquake may be over, but it’s important to be conscious of aftershocks.

Create an earthquake survival kit

If you live in an area prone to earthquakes, create an emergency earthquake kit to store in your car. Some items to put in your kit include:

  • Bottles of drinking water
  • High-calorie food like energy bars or nonperishables
  • A foghorn or noise-making device in case you need to call for help or there is an emergency
  • A flash light with extra batteries
  • A first aid kit
  • Communication items like a solar battery charger for your phone
  • A fire extinguisher
  • Blankets

Earthquakes are unpredictable, so follow these tips and expect the unexpected. For more fleet safety tips, visit elementfleet.com/resources/tips-advice.

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