- Expect aftershocks. Each time one is felt, drop, cover, and hold on.
- Check yourself first for injuries and get first aid if necessary before helping injured or trapped persons.
- Assess your home or workplace for damage. If the building appears unsafe get everyone out. Use the stairs, not an elevator and when outside, watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines. Stay out of damaged areas.
- Look for and extinguish small fires if it is safe to do so. Fire is a significant hazard following earthquakes.
- Listen to the radio for updated emergency information and instructions.
- Do not overload phone lines with non-emergency calls.
- Help people who require special assistance – infants, elderly people, those without transportation, families who may need additional help, people with disabilities, and the people who care for them.
The phone thing is particularly relevant, even outside Christchurch. For some networks (XT in particular) toll calls south of Taupo may well be routed through the affected area, clogging up needed resources.
Also, as I tweeted earlier don’t rubberneck. The ambulance you delay is far more important than you getting your sense of fulfilment.