Earthquake Facts

Earthquake Facts

The United States Geological Survey (USGS), national experts on earthquakes, say:

  • Millions of earthquakes occur around the world every year and the vast majority are minor.
  • The International Residential Code regulates most construction in the United States. Its map lists seven seismic risk levels. North Texas is listed at the lowest risk level for seismic activity.
  • Seismologists began measuring earthquakes in North Texas in 2008.
  • There is a very low probability that a significant earthquake will strike the North Texas region.

Preparedness Tips

What should you do during an earthquake?

DROP - DROP down to the floor.

COVER - Take COVER under a sturdy piece of furniture. If that is not possible, seek cover against an interior wall and protect your head and neck with your arms. Avoid danger spots near windows, hanging objects, mirrors, or tall furniture.

HOLD - If you take cover under a sturdy piece of furniture, HOLD on to it and be prepared to move with it. HOLD the position until the ground stops shaking and it is safe to move.

Tips to Protect Yourself During an Earthquake 


Image Source: Spain Instituto Geografico Nacional 

  • If you’re in a HIGH-RISE BUILDING, and you are not near a desk or table, move against an interior wall, and protect your head with your arms. Do not use the elevators.
  • If you’re OUTDOORS, move to a clear area, away from trees, signs, buildings, or downed electrical wires and poles.
  • If you’re on a SIDEWALK NEAR BUILDINGS, duck into a doorway to protect yourself from falling bricks, glass, plaster, and other debris.
  • If you’re DRIVING, pull over to the side of the road and stop. Avoid overpasses, power lines, and other hazards. Stay inside the vehicle until the shaking is over.
  • If you’re in a CROWDED STORE, do not rush for exits. Move away from display shelves containing objects that could fall.
  • If you’re in the KITCHEN, move away from the refrigerator, stove, and overhead cupboards.
  • If you’re in a STADIUM or THEATER, stay in your seat and protect your head with your arms. Do not try to leave until the shaking is over. Then leave in a calm, orderly manner.
  • If you’re in a WHEELCHAIR, stay in it. Move to cover, if possible, lock your wheels, and protect your head with your arms. More earthquake safety tips for people with disabilities and other access or functional needs can be found HERE.