Earthquake hits outside Tehran: Preparation tips

Tips to


For the first time in several months an earthquake has hit an area outside Tehran. In fact, according to USGS and Iran’s Earthquake Monitoring Centre, the entire region is shifting with tremors being felt across the area as far as the Turkish Mediterranean islands.

With that in mind, we have queried relevant sources about what to do if a big quake strikes Tehran.

Emergency list

First, there is a list – not in English – of emergency centres placed across the city which can be used if you have nowhere to go.

Download this app!


Following our last week’s article on the best apps to have while living in Tehran, we thought its best to develop something more suited to general preparedness.

We thought this little foreign-based app is impressive. Called LastQuake, the application uses a phones GPS signal to notify you if an earthquake happens near your location.  If you feel an earthquake, you can report it through the application, and it will appear in the app.

LastQuake is the official phone application of the Euro-Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC). Designed by seismologists, the LastQuake application is dedicated to alerting populations and gathering testimonies in real time. In only a few minutes, EMSC is thus able to estimate earthquake effects.

You can download the app for both iOS and Android here! If you are a straggler on Windows Phone, then you can use the web version of the application.

If an earthquake hits?

First, the message from Tehran Municipality is to remain safe and not to make any rash moves. According to the National Disaster Management Organisation, these are the best tips for staying safe when a quake comes.

Prepare your home

As it seems these tremors look to be a more frequent occurrence in the next few weeks make sure your home is safe. Make sure you assess its structure and contents. If your home is old, make sure you have a building inspector come and give you tips on what to do. Moreover, if you have many things on shelves, think about moving them off shelves for the time being.

Earthquake advice.
Keep your home safe. Copyright Seattle Times

Prepare yourself and your family for an earthquake

React safely
Learn what to do during an earthquake. Hold periodic family drills to practice what you have learned. Through practice, you can condition yourselves to react spontaneously and safely when the first jolt or shaking is felt.

Take cover
In each room of your home, identify the safest places to “drop, cover, and hold on” during an earthquake. Practice going to these safe spots during family drills to ensure that everyone learns where he or she is.

Survive on your own
Assemble and maintain a household emergency supply kit, and be sure that all family members know where it is stored. The package should consist of one or two portable containers holding the supplies that your family would need to survive without outside assistance for at least three days following an earthquake or another disaster. Make additional, smaller kits to keep in your car and at your place of work. Also, do not forget to place your passports and identification documents inside the bag if you need to run from your building.

Collect these items before its too late.

Keep in contact
List the addresses, telephone numbers and evacuation sites for all places visited by family members (e.g., home, office, schools). Include the phone number of contacts out of the city to report you are safe. Ensure your family members – including your kids – carry a copy of the emergency information.

If you are inside a building:

  • Drop down onto your hands and knees, so the earthquake does not knock you down. Drop to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!)
  • Cover your head and neck with your arms to protect yourself from falling debris.
  • If you are in danger of falling objects, and you can move safely, crawl for additional cover under a sturdy desk or table.
  • If no sturdy shelter is nearby, crawl away from windows, next to an interior wall. Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as light fixtures or furniture.
  • Hold on to any sturdy covering so you can move with it until the shaking stops.
  • Stay where you are until the shaking stops. Do not run outside. Do not get in a doorway as this does not protect from falling or flying objects, and you may not be able to remain standing.
  • If getting safely to the floor to take cover will not be possible:
  • If getting securely to the ground will be difficult, actions before an earthquake to secure or remove items that can fall or become projectiles should be a priority to create spaces.

Identify an away from windows and objects that could fall on you. The Tehran Municipality advises getting as low as possible to the floor. People who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices should lock their wheels, bend over, and remain seated until the shaking stops. Protect your head and neck with your arms, a pillow, a book, or whatever is available.

If you are in bed when you feel the shaking:

If you are in bed: Stay there and cover your head and neck with a pillow. At night, hazards and debris are difficult to see and avoid; attempts to move in the dark result in more injuries than remaining in bed.

If you are outside when you feel the shaking:

If you are outdoors when the shaking starts, move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires. Once in the open, “Drop, Cover, and Hold On.” Stay there until the shaking stops.

If you are in a moving vehicle:

Controlling a car during the shaking is difficult. If you are in a moving vehicle, stop as quickly and safely as possible and stay in the car. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires. Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has finished. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that the quake may have damaged.

After a quake:

When the shaking stops, look around. If the building is damaged and there is a clear path to safety, leave the building and go to an open space away from damaged areas.

  • If you are trapped, do not move about or kick up dust.
  • If you have a cell phone with you, use it to call or text for help.
  • Remember most modern phones now include an SOS option with an alert horn which can be activated in emergency mode. There are also other apps available which can make the sound.
  • Tap on a pipe or wall or use a whistle, if you have one, so that rescuers can locate you.
  • Once safe, monitor local news reports via battery-operated radio, TV, social media, and cell phone text alerts for emergency information and instructions.
  • Check for injuries and assist if you have training. Assist with rescues if you can do so safely.
  • Use extreme caution during post-disaster clean-up of buildings and around debris. Do not attempt to remove heavy debris by yourself.
  • Wear protective clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, work gloves, and sturdy, thick-soled shoes during clean-up.






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