Earthquake: What to Do in a Major Crisis

Tuesday's East-Coast quake was a reminder to be prepared.

ByABC News
August 23, 2011, 6:32 PM

Aug. 24, 2011 — -- You're sitting at your desk, or in your kitchen, and all of a sudden the building begins to wobble. To some people, the 5.8-magnitude earthquake in central Virginia Tuesday felt like a gentle rolling. To others, closer to the epicenter, it was more violent.

And then it was over. People from New England to the Carolinas were left asking, "What was that?"

If you live in California or southern Alaska, you probably know what to do in an earthquake. But Easterners don't often feel tremors, and may not know how to react in a major emergency. The Northridge earthquake in Los Angeles in 1994 had a magnitude of 6.7, and at least 33 people died.

Here are some pointers from FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency if you are caught in a major earthquake:

If You're Indoors: