California natives know the drill: During an earthquake, drop to the floor and cover your neck and head with your hands. If you can, get underneath a table and hold on until the shaking stops.

“Drop. Cover. Hold on.” — not standing in a doorway or other common misconceptions — is the best advice from the earthquake experts and authorities.

Here’s what you should keep in mind so that you can remain calm and act quickly once you feel the shaking begin — and know what to do when the shaking stops.

During the shaking

Do not run out of a building. Running outside is not a good idea, experts say, as the exterior of a building is one of the most dangerous places to be as objects fall. During the 2003 Paso Robles earthquake, bricks came crashing down on two women fleeing a building; experts say that if they had stayed inside, they would have survived. In the Mexico City earthquake of 1985, desks remained standing at one building even as the ceiling caved in.

What if you can’t get under a desk or other sturdy furniture? Get as low as possible, protect your head and neck, and move away from windows or other items that can fall on you.