Unlike hurricanes, earthquakes don’t have a specific active season. The natural disasters can occur at any time of the year and in any type of weather.
So for Canadians travelling to earthquake-prone parts of the world, planning trips accordingly can be difficult. But, there are things they can do to travel more safely.
What to know before travelling
Before heading on a vacation, Canadians should check whether their destination is at risk of having earthquakes.
They can check the country’s government websites. For example, Mexico will post updates on the Servicio Sismológico Nacional (National Seismological Institute) website. Canadians can also check Government of Canada’s travel advisory for the country, which highlights recent earthquakes and whether there is a possible risk.
Within Canada, earthquake updates from the government can be found on Twitter.
Some of the countries that have a higher likelihood of earthquakes include Japan, Nepal, India, Ecuador, Philippines, Pakistan, El Salvador, Mexico, Turkey and Indonesia.
WATCH: Ongoing coverage of Mexico’s latest earthquake
Canadians should also register with the government before travelling abroad. They can do so here.
Travellers going to at-risk areas can also carry an emergency kit with them, which would include supplies such as toiletries, basic tools, and some food.
What do to during an earthquake
“DROP, COVER, HOLD ON,” is the main advice offered by the Government of Canada, if you are indoors.
It explains that those experiencing a quake should drop under heavy furniture, such as a table or desk. They should cover their head and torso in case objects fall, while holding onto the furniture they’re sitting under.
If Canadians are inside, but not near furniture, they should crouch against an interior wall. Those at shopping malls should go inside the nearest store. Students at school should move under desks and face away from windows.
Those who are outside should stay outside, the government says, but keep away from buildings and crowds.
WATCH: Tourists take cover under tables during Mexico earthquake
Who to contact for help
Global Affairs Canada says national residents in need of help outside of the country should call the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at 613-996-8885, or send an email to email@example.com.
It also advises Canadians to listen to local news reports, and follow instructions provided by the foreign country’s officials.
One helpful tip is to carry emergency contact information in a wallet or purse.
Risks following an earthquake
The Canadian government warns that there may be aftershocks, landslides and tsunamis after a bigger earthquake strikes, so it’s important to listen to news reports on what to expect.
If those who have experienced an earthquake have access to sturdier shoes (such as boots) and protective clothing, they should put them on right away — especially if they are going to inspect damage, or are surrounded by debris.
WATCH: Why devastating tsunamis didn’t show up after Mexico’s powerful earthquake
The government also warns against lighting matches or turning on lights until it is confirmed that there is no gas leak. If there is tap water, fill up a bathtub, bottles or any other containers available, in case the water later runs out.
Check on family members, pets and neighbours once it is safe to move around. If you need assistance, place a “HELP” sign on a window, or where it will be visible to the public.
For more tips from the Canadian government, click here.