Southern California was doing quite a bit of shaking over the 4th of July weekend – with two strong earthquakes hitting the Ridgecrest area that were felt in the Coachella Valley, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and all spots in between. Since it’s been a while since we were shaking this much, it might be a good time for a quick reminder that, no matter how many times you have been told to, standing in a doorway during an earthquake really isn’t advised. No, I am serious.
Now, I know what you’re saying, everyone has told you to stand in a doorway since you can remember. But it turns out, they were all so very wrong. I’ll let the folks at the University of Washington explain why:
An enduring earthquake image of California is a collapsed adobe home with the door frame as the only standing part. From this came our belief that a doorway is the safest place to be during an earthquake. True- if you live in an old, unreinforced adobe house or some older wood-frame houses. In modern houses, doorways are no stronger than any other part of the house, and the doorway does not protect you from the most likely source of injury- falling or flying objects. You also may not be able to brace yourself in the door during strong shaking. You are safer under a table.
What’s not mentioned there is that the door might end up smacking you while you’re in the doorway – and that also wouldn’t be good.
For a full summary of what to do during and how to prepare for an earthquake, head over here.