Before an earthquake:

Develop an emergency plan for your home. Roads may be blocked and phone lines may be inoperable, impeding your ability to go or call home immediately following an earthquake. Include provisions for your pets in your plan and check on your children's school plan.

Designate an out-of-state contact. Long distance lines may be operable earlier than local lines.

Plan an escape route and an alternate. Discuss and practice this with your family. At work, locate the stairwell exit nearest you and an alternate in case the first is blocked. Keep a flashlight handy.

Keep personal supplies in your car or desk. A change of clothing, shoes, medication, water, and blanket are just a few things to have available.

Secure tall furniture to the wall. Keep heavy items on the bottom of shelves. This applies to both home and work.

Store chemicals properly. Separate incompatible chemicals and keep them on shelves with protective barriers or behind cupboard doors that lock.

Learn how to use a fire extinguisher. Take a CPR/First Aid course. Call Environmental Health and Instructional Safety for the next scheduled class.

Vital records. Keep copies of your most important papers in a file or safe that you can easily reach after a quake. Back up on CD or flash drive important publications, equipment inventories, staff and class information.

During the quake:

Remain calm. This is, of course, harder to do than say. Just remember to Drop, Cover, and Hold! Get under a table or desk, keep your back to the windows and cover your head.

  • When you are in a campus building, drop and cover under furniture or between rows of seats. The interior walls of rooms or halls are good places to crouch against.
  • If you happen to be outdoors or in a vehicle, move to an open area, if possible--stay away from buildings, power lines, block walls, and overpasses.

After the shaking stops:

Check for personal injuries. Grab your flashlight, if necessary, and first aid kit. Assist injured and the disabled. Extinguish small fires.

Evacuate. Follow instructions of the Building Marshal. Do not use elevators. Meet in a designated spot with your department or class a safe distance from the building. Remember, aftershocks will further damage an already weakened structure.

Notify. Advise a Building Marshal or University Police Officer of any people trapped or injured requiring evacuation, fire or hazardous material spill. At home, do not call 911 unless there has been a serious injury OR place red-Help!/green-OK cards in street-facing window alerting Police and Fire of your status. Check on your neighbors.

Navigating the roads. Do not leave campus until you know the conditions of freeways and surface streets. When at home, stay there and listen to your portable radio.

Volunteer. If you can not get home right away, your time as a Disaster Service Worker will be gratefully accepted.

Reviewed: 4-12 tw