You can take five simple steps to get ready for the next earthquake. It's coming for sure, but we don't know when.

Create a family emergency plan

Understand the building where you live. Was it built using anti-seismic techniques?

Request documents and information from the builder or manager to understand what risks you are taking by living there.

Where are the gas, water, and electrical lines?

Make sure they are revised regularly and that the entire family knows how to turn them off.

Where is the fire extinguisher in your home?

Learn how to use it and make sure it is revised annually.

Outside your home:

Decide on an alternative point of contact and meeting place if you are not together during the quake.

Identidy what objects may fall and cause additional damage in your home

  1. All furniture, cabinets, and shelves should be secured to the walls, floor, or ceiling.
  2. All hallways should be cleared from toys and bulky furniture.
  3. Place heavy or large objects on the floor or on lower shelves.
  4. Do not place mirrors or heavy frames next to or above sheltering locations such as beds or tables.
  5. Do not place beds near windows.

Identify the safest and most dangerous places in your home


Interior door frames, corners of master walls, under tables and beds.


Next to windows, mirrors, lamps, unsecure furniture and other objects. Don’t rush out the door and don't use the elevators.

Prepare an emergency kit with disaster supplies

It must include
  1. Water
  2. Non-perishable food
  3. Battery radio
  4. Flashlight
  5. Spare batteries
  6. First aid kit
  7. Essential medicine
  8. Whistle
  9. Copy of identification documents

Check items regularly, and replace them if they are out of date. Don’t forget, everyone must know where to find the kit.

Observe safety precautions when an earthquake occurs

  1. First protect yourself. Get to the closest safe space, and remember to “Drop, Cover, and Hold on”. Wait until the tremor subsides.
  2. Turn off water, gas, and electricity lines.
  3. Find the emergency kit and fire extinguisher, if needed.
  4. If it is safe to go outside, secure an exit and meet up with your family.
  1. Stay clear of glass or walls.
  2. Watch out for collapsing buildings.
  3. Move to a safe place such as a park. 
  4. If you are unable to flee to an open area, take refuge in a relatively new, reinforced concrete building that is seismic resistant.
  5. Remain calm, especially in areas where a lot of people are gathered.
At school
  1. Move away from windows.
  2. Take cover under a desk, hold on to the desk’s legs.
  3. Wait until the shaking subsides. 
  4. When the shaking stops, follow the instructions of the teachers and staff.
  5. Remain calm.
At the office
  1. Move to a safe place to protect yourself from falling objects or furniture and other heavy items toppling over or sliding into you.

If you are trapped inside a room or unable to move, don’t keep on shouting as this could exhaust you and endanger your life. Instead, make large noises by, for instance, using something solid to hit the door or walls to let others realize that you are in the room.

What not to do when an earthquake hits

  • Do not reset your circuit breaker to restore the flow of electricity as it could start a fire.
  • Do not use elevators as there is the danger of getting trapped inside.
  • Do not use the phone except in case of an emergency.
  • Do not engage in rescue activities alone. To reduce the risk of injury, work with several people when attempting to rescue others.
  • Do not use a car to evacuate as it may impede the passage of emergency vehicles.

Follow the evacuation procedures

What to do before evacuating:
  1. Gather correct information
  2. Confirm the safety of your family
  3. Confirm the situation inside and outside the home, stay if safe
  4. If you’re away from home, stay where you are if it is safe
  5. Confirm the safety of neighbors
  6. Turn off possible sources of fire
  7. Turn off the circuit breakers
  8. Leave a memo
  9. Don’t hesitate to request cooperation if needed and to cooperate
  10. After arriving at the evacuation center:
  • Giving your contact information
  • Confirming the safety of family members, etc.
  • Share duties and tasks that need to be done

For more information, please check the page of the Lisbon Municipal Civil Protection Service