What to Do if an Earthquake Strikes

Many think that standing in a doorway during an earthquake will protect you. But new research says that's not always a good idea.

Two strong earthquakes rocked Southern California in just as many days, reminding people to know how to stay safe when disaster strikes. 

First, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake rattled the Los Angeles area on Thursday. The second one came just the next day on Friday night: a 7.1 magnitude earthquake. If that magnitude stands, it will have been the largest quake to hit the area in 20 years, the Washington Post reported.

Scientists say the fault that is responsible for the quakes is growing, making it possible for even more aftershocks to follow.

Many people caught in the quakes did the same thing: take cover under a doorway. But new research says that can be the wrong thing to do, depending on the circumstances. 

Survival experts at the Earthquake Country Alliance now advise people to drop to the ground, cover your head with one arm, crawl under a table or desk, and hold on until the shaking stops. 

Taking cover in a doorway is only beneficial if you happen to be near one, CBS News science contributor Dr. Michio Kaku explained. 

"If the doorway is far away and there's lots of debris falling down, do not go to the doorway," Kaku said. "If you're close to the doorway and there's not much debris falling, I would go to the doorway."

Following the pair of quakes, California is bracing for an even stronger one in the future. 

"Within a 30-year time frame, the possibility is 99% that we're going to have a big one," said Kaku.