DO hide under something sturdy. A desk or a well-built area is best. The basic goal is to shield yourself from falling debris.Stay away from things that can shatter or fall over, such as glass windows or bookshelves.
DON'T hesitate. "Earthquakes are very unique in that there's no real warning," says Warren. "There are devices that will alert you, but even then you may only have a second or two."
DO turn off the gas lines. "Electricity is knocked out a lot, but the gas stays on," says Warren. Know where to find a wrench and which way to turn your gas gauge (lefty apparently isn't always loosey).
DON'T clog the phone lines. A quick call or text is obviously fine, but long chats make emergency workers' jobs harder.
DO pay attention to the location of the epicenter. A quake might have only registered as a 4.0 in your area, but if it's main point of fissure was off-shore, there's likely to be a tsunami, which should be treated just like a hurricane.
DON'T dig through your stuff immediately. You could get caught in an aftershock, or be in danger because of damaged utility infrastructure.
DON'T immediately evacuate a building if you're in an urban area and the structure seems stable. There's too much danger of falling debris. Only exit immediately if you're in an old building that's in danger of collapse.