Here’s How to Survive an Earthquake in Dubai

Emergency response training is already in place across the UAE | © Felix Berndt Photography / Flickr
Emergency response training is already in place across the UAE | © Felix Berndt Photography / Flickr
Photo of Jessica Harn
14 November 2017

Dubai, and the rest of the UAE, recently experienced the strength of the massive 7.3 earthquake that hit the border of Iraq and Iran, which horrifically has killed more than 400 people (as of the evening of November 13, 2017). As our thoughts and condolences go towards those lost or injured in this massive earthquake, for those in Dubai, there are a few tips to remember if ever caught in the middle of an earthquake.

The one thing that every home should have, regardless of where you live, is a ready-packed backpack and pair of tennis shoes by your bedside or somewhere handy to grab in case you need to make a sudden run for it. It is extremely useful to have tennis shoes ready because, with an earthquake, there will be glass and other dangerous objects all over the ground, and many people get the most injured when trying to flee. The backpack should only carry the essentials, such as a bottle of water, some granola bars or other light non-perishable foods, a first-aid kit, a flashlight, batteries, and other hygiene products in case you are without water or electricity for a few days. The backpack should ideally have enough supplies to last you three full days without any support or help, as this is typically the longest that those in disaster zones have to wait before some sort of aid or rescue arrives.

Some examples of what you might want to have in your emergency backpack | © Global X / Flickr

If, however, you are stuck in a building during the actual earthquake, it is best to cover your head and face and find somewhere sturdy to hide or cover yourself from falling objects. Always stay away from windows and the kitchen, and if possible, switch off any power or gas sources in your home. The United Arab Emirates Supreme Council for National Security has more details on their website about specific places to hide or run for cover during the possible event of an earthquake.

If by the ocean or canals in Dubai, try to distance yourself as much as possible from the water in case of sea levels rising | © Tanmayee Deshprabhu / Flickr

Most high-rise buildings in Dubai now follow a code for withstanding an earthquake that is a five or higher on the Richter scale, and companies and businesses will always have an emergency plan and exit route in the case of natural disasters. In the aftermath of an earthquake, try to get out of the building and immediately take cover in a public area with other people to ensure you can either reach a phone or get medical help in the case of injury. While Dubai does not lie on a fault line and generally has no risk of a major earthquake, it is always better to stay alert and know what to do in case of an emergency.

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