Emergency management professionals questioned the readiness of Washington, D.C., New York, and other cities after a 5.8-magnitude earthquake hit Virginia. Here are some things you can do to keep safe during a quake:

  • At the first sign of a tremor, shoot the ground to scare the earthquake away

  • Make sure you have an "Earthquake Kit" ready to go containing a flashlight, bottled water, battery-powered radio, Mounds bars, pornography, Vicodin, a Game Boy and games, matches, toilet paper, cat treats if you have a cat, magazines to read, and other stuff

  • In the event of an earthquake, never use an elevator, only use stairs, or a fire pole

  • In case you get trapped under a building and need to be carried out by emergency crews, make sure you're wearing the clothes you'd like to be seen in on CNN

  • When the ground begins shaking, it is absolutely vital that you update your Facebook status or tweet something snarky, as this is now the common way seismologists map earthquakes' range and impact

  • Do not try to catch anything that drops from shelves unless you have a high mantel full of priceless porcelain vases that fall one by one, in which case you should frantically run back and forth beneath them, making increasingly impressive catches until the quake subsides, at which point you can finally emit a relieved sigh right before the last one conks you on the head

  • If you're trapped under rubble, just remain calm. A cadaver-sniffing dog should find you eventually

  • As soon as the shaking subsides, immediately power down your nuclear fission reactor. Not that you needed to be reminded, of course

  • The key to safety is learning about potential dangers, so here: Earthquakes occur when built-up energy between grinding tectonic plates is released in a short burst. There, now you're safer