May 17 at 9:43, a magnitude 5.2 earthquake occurred near Shawville, QC, and the tremors were felt in the Ottawa-Gatineau area and out to Montreal, Toronto and Waterloo. Just 10 minutes later, the earthquake was followed by a magnitude 4.1 aftershock at 9:53. Then, May 21 at 16:43, a magnitude 3.4 earthquake occurred 10 km east of Rigaud, QC.

Did you ever wonder what you should do after these tremors stop? Here are a couple of things you should do after an earthquake:

  • Expect aftershocks, which will be less strong than the earthquake, but can cause additional damage
  • Be aware of aftershocks, which can occur minutes, hours, or even days after the earthquake
  • Check yourself and others for injuries, and give first aid to anyone who needs it
  • Check your water, gas, and electric lines for damage, and if damaged, shut off the valves
  • Check for the smell of gas, and if you smell gas, open all the windows and doors, leave immediately, and report it to the authorities (use someone else’s phone)
  • Turn on the news or check the online feeds for updates
  • Check your hardwired telephone to ensure it has not been knocked off its cradle
  • Do not use the phone lines unless it is an emergency
  • Stay out of damaged buildings
  • Be careful around broken glass and debris, and wear boots or sturdy shoes to keep from cutting your feet.
  • Be careful of chimneys (they may fall on you)
  • Stay away from beaches, as Tsunamis sometimes hit after the ground has stopped shaking
  • Stay away from damaged areas
  • If you are at school or work, follow the emergency plan or the instructions of the person in charge

Wonder if earthquakes are really a risk in Canada? Check out our slideshow for tips, videos and more information here!