I like the topic of this thread, since i myself have been witness to many an earthquakes having lived in northern part of India for many a years now in succession and life is a wee bit tedious over there with frequent earth tremors and jottles like this as the souther part of our country is less prone you could say or is atleast away from most epicenteric spots favorable to earth quakes, hence the fear may not be as big and bothersome here in chennai, yet just in cases some do's and don'ts for my friends:-
1.The best anyone could do in a situation like that is to escape out of their homes in the open, completely away from any possible falling deberis.
2.Secondly rightly said by the webmaster, hide yourself underneat any table or cott available at home or office, just in case it happens to be a high rised building and you seem to be stuck with people rushing out.
3. Dont panic in such a state just calm your nerves and climb onto the windows and door parapets since these iron/wooden frames are secured to the main pillar/iron framings/rods which in eventualities shall hold you alive just in case the structure happens to fall at all for you to be rescued by the fire fighting dept later.
1.Avoid climbing into any elevators/lifts, instead climb down the staircase since these tends to hold on in case of a fall out.
2.Avoid using electric/electronic gazzeteries like your landline phone, P.C's or any communicable products since there might be a chance of electricution and a possible shortcircuit.
3.Avoid getting to the center of the hall or room as the first thing to cave in might be the ceiling above you, instead stick on to the corners of the room where you are trapped.
these are some valuble points i was taught to be safe/protective from any kind of mishappenings, hence these shall be useful to you also i believe..
Senthil K Natarajan