National Disaster Management Authority Government of India

Recover and build

  • You should continue using a Weather Radio or staying tuned to a Coast Guard emergency frequency station or a local radio or television station for updated emergency information.
  • Check yourself for injuries and get first aid if necessary before helping injured or trapped persons.
  • If someone needs to be rescued, call professionals with the right equipment to help Many people have been killed or injured trying to rescue others in flooded areas.
  • Help people who require special assistance—Infants, elderly people, those without transportation, large families who may need additional help in an emergency situation, people with disabilities, and the people who care for them.
  • Avoid disaster areas. Your presence might hamper rescue and other emergency operations and put you at further risk from the residual effects of floods, such as contaminated water, crumbled roads, landslides, mudflows, and other hazards.
  • Use the telephone only for emergency calls.Telephone lines are frequently overwhelmed in disaster situations. They need to be clear for emergency calls to get through.
  • Stay out of a building if water remains around it. Tsunami water, like floodwater, can undermine foundations, causing buildings to sink, floors to crack, or walls to collapse.
  • When re-entering buildings or homes, use extreme caution. Tsunami-driven floodwater may have damaged buildings where you least expect it. Carefully watch every step you take.
  • Wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and sturdy shoes. The most common injury following a disaster is cut feet.
  • Use battery-powered lanterns or flashlights when examining buildings. Battery-powered lighting is the safest and easiest to use, and it does not present a fire hazard for the user, occupants, or building. DO NOT USE CANDLES.
  • Examine walls, floors, doors, staircases, and windows to make sure that the building is not in danger of collapsing.
  • Inspect foundations for cracks or other damage. Cracks and damage to a foundation can render a building uninhabitable.
  • Look for fire hazards. Under the earthquake action there may be broken or leaking gas lines, and under the tsunami flooded electrical circuits, or submerged furnaces or electrical appliances. Flammable or explosive materials may have come from upstream. Fire is the most frequent hazard following floods.
  • Check for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and get everyone outside quickly. Turn off the gas using the outside main valve if you can, and call the gas company from a neighbour’s home. If you turn off the gas for any reason, it must be turned back on by a professional.
  • Look for electrical system damage. If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell burning insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If you have to step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker, call an electrician first for advice. Electrical equipment should be checked and dried before being returned to service
  • Check for damage to sewage and water lines.If you suspect sewage lines are damaged under the quake, avoid using the toilets and call a plumber. If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid using water from the tap. You can obtain safe water from undamaged water heaters or by melting ice cubes that were made before the tsunami hit. Turn off the main water valve before draining water from these sources. Use tap water only if local health officials advise it is safe.
  • Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes that may have come into buildings with the water. Use a stick to poke through debris. Tsunami floodwater flushes snakes and animals out of their homes.
  • Watch for loose plaster, drywall, and ceilings that could fall.
  • Take pictures of the damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance claims. Open the windows and doors to help dry the building.
  • Shovel mud before it solidifies.
  • Check food supplies.Any food that has come in contact with floodwater may be contaminated and should be thrown out.
  • Expect aftershocks. If the earthquake is of large magnitude (magnitude 8 to 9+ on the Richter scale) and located nearby, some aftershocks could be as large as magnitude 7+ and capable of generating another tsunami. The number of aftershocks will decrease over the course of several days, weeks, or months depending on how large the main shock was.
  • Watch your animals closely.
  • Keep all your animals under your direct control.