Driving in an Earthquake - How Should You React?

The 6.1 earthquake that struck Northern California caught Napa Valley by surprise early this morning. If you had been driving your car when it struck, would you know what to do? There are crucial steps to survive an earthquake while in your car, according to WikiHow. The most crucial is to realize you are in an earthquake. Initially you might believe something mechanical has gone wrong with your car. As the article points out, "Look around. You will feel the earth jolting and shaking, and begin to see things falling or cracks opening." RELATED: See video of Corvette Museum Sinkhole Once you know what’s happening, pull over to the side of the road to a spot clear of trees, buildings and overpasses. The latter is a great place during a tornado but a potential fatal mistake in an earthquake, especially with the expected aftershocks. Also, it seems like common sense, but don't pull over on a bridge either. Turn the car off (that's just great advice in any emergency situation). Also, set the brake to help anchor the car in place. It may not always work but odds are it will. The next step is turn on your car radio and find an all-news station. That could mean hitting AM on your stereo for the first time since you bought your car. Don't rely on your smart phone. During emergencies, cell networks get overwhelmed. Sending texts is fine but data rarely works well in emergencies. RELATED: See Video of a Close Call Truck Crash Stay put in your car until the shaking stops (if you are in a safe place). Once the shaking stops, get out and stand in a safe place. Sit or lie down (again in a safe place) if an aftershock hits. By the way, don't call 9-1-1 unless someone with you needs assistance. EMS knows there has been an earthquake. RELATED: See Video of a Taiwanese Car Crash Chill out for a while – to let your adrenaline rush subside – and then head home or to a safe destination. Drive smart. Don't go through flooded areas. Don't drive over cracked pavement. Avoid bridges and overpasses with structural damage. Yep, that last piece of advice sounds pretty basic but people do dumb things that get them killed. Don't b a dumb person. You can survive an earthquake in your car. Just use some common sense and respect the forces of Nature.