Building Collapses & Explosions

A building collapse featuring damage and debris

Building collapses or explosions can result from structural damage, a gas leak, or sabotage.

Know What to Do

  • Get out as quickly as possible.
  • If you can't get out of the building, get under a sturdy table or desk.

If you are trapped by debris:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a cloth or clothing.
  • Move around as little as possible to avoid kicking up dust, which may be harmful to inhale.
  • If possible, use a flashlight so you can see your surroundings and to signal your location to rescuers.
  • Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can hear where you are. Use a whistle if you have one. Shout only as a last resort as shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.

If you clean up debris:

  • Wear gloves and sturdy shoes.
  • Sort debris by type (e.g., wood, appliances, etc.).
  • Do not touch debris that has utility wires in it.
  • Do not move debris that is too large or too heavy. Ask for help from neighbors, friends, and recovery workers.

If there is a fire:

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