Experiencing an earthquake can be frightening. You and others around you may be injured or in a state of shock; your home or workplace may be damaged; your pets may have run away, and you may not be able to contact your family.
Stay calm, make sure you are safe, and then help those around you.
The earthquake may have caused other hazards such as loose debris, live electricity and gas leaks, so it is important to stay alert and be aware of your surroundings.
Listen to your local authorities and follow their instructions, because your safety is their priority.
What to do:
- Expect aftershocks - these may not be as powerful but can cause further damage
- If you’re in a life threatening situation, call triple zero (000)
- If your home has been damaged and you need help call the State Emergency Services (SES) on 132 500
- If the building you are in is badly damaged and a threat to your safety, you should leave for a safer place
- When exiting a building check overhead for loose bricks or stonework that could fall
- Avoid driving unless it’s an emergency, to keep roads clear for local authorities
- Do not return home until your local authorities say it is safe to do so
- Do not explore the affected area or enter damaged buildings
- Be careful of fallen power lines and debris.
There are many ways you can keep up-to-date with the current situation in your area.
- Find real time information from Geoscience Australia:
- Speak to your local emergency services and listen to local ABC radio
- If significant damage has occurred, keep up to date via
- Emergency WA website (emergency.wa.gov.au)
- DFES Facebook or Twitter
- 13 DFES (13 3337) recorded information line.
If your home has been damaged, you may not be able to return there straight away - this is for your own safety
- Use a torch when entering a building, never use matches, cigarette lighters or naked flames as there may be gas leaks
- Take photographs as you go through the house for insurance purposes (before moving anything)
- Open doors and cupboards carefully as objects may have moved behind them and could fall
- Turn off electricity, gas, and water then check for broken mains (water, sewerage or electrical), gas or fuel leaks and damaged wiring
- Unplug electrical equipment and turn off light switches to prevent a fire starting when the power is restored
- Check for cracks or damage in the roof, walls and chimneys
- If your pets are missing, carefully look around your property as they may be trapped or hiding
- Start cleaning up around your home, stack loose material clear of water metres, gas valves and telephone lines
- Contact your insurance company to organise permanent repairs.
When you are safe, report your earthquake experience to Geoscience Australia using the Felt Report.
Earthquake effects may vary significantly over small distances due to changes in ground conditions, your building type, and what you were doing at the time. By reporting your individual experience, you are helping to inform emergency services on the earthquake impacts in your area.
Go to https://earthquakes.ga.gov.au/ and fill in the Felt Report.