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Tragic collapses in supermarkets in Estonia and Latvia

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Warning signs

  • You hear or see a warning message.
  • You hear or see an explosion.
  • You see the building structures sink.
  • You see fast cracking and falling of the walls, ceiling or floor of the building.

How to act if you are buried under rubble

  • Remain calm and act in a well-considered way. Getting help may take time; do not lose hope.
  • Move slowly, to avoid disturbing any collapsed material.
  • Slowly free your hands and legs from the rubble.
  • If possible, breath through a cloth, to protect your respiratory tract against dust.
  • Check whether you are injured and stop the bleeding by pressing a cloth or hand on the wound.
  • If you are able to move, find an exit, or shelter in a more reinforced area, such as near bearing walls or door openings.
  • If possible, report yourself to the emergency number 112.
  • Call out or looking around to try and determine whether there are more people around.
  • Try to signal to the rescuers, while also saving your energy as getting help might take time. To inform rescuers of your location, make some noise (e.g. hit the piles with an item) or shout, especially if you hear the rescuers near you.
  • During the rescue works, the work of all devices will be stopped periodically to listen for cries for help. This is a very good time to make yourself known.
  • If possible, drink and eat, if you have access to water or food.
  • Protect yourself against hypothermia with clothes and stay curled up.
  • If you are stuck beneath the collapsed material, regularly move your fingers and toes, to improve blood circulation.
  • If the rescuers find you, inform them of other people in need, whom you have noticed under the ruins or heard.

What to do in a crisis

Every state does whatever it can to prevent or respond to crisis situations. Still, help will not always reach all people quickly enough because some crises can affect a large part of the population and last for days or even weeks.

Until help arrives and services are resumed, your welfare and that of your loved ones will largely depend on your own preparedness.

The web page “” contains tips on how to get prepared for various types of crisis situations and what to do if there actually is one.

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