Earthquake Plan

Earthquakes can be traumatic. However, planning and practicing what to do in case of an earthquake can lessen fears and anxieties. In a major earthquake you may experience a shaking that starts gently and within a second or two grows violent enough to knock you off your feet. You may be jarred by a violent jolt, similar to a sonic boom, or you may hear a low and perhaps loud rumbling noise a second later. Depending on the severity of the shaking, you may have trouble moving from one room to another. These are all signs that you may have only a second or two to find safe shelter.

Safe Spots

  • Under a sturdy table or wood-framed door.
  • Against an inside corner of a room.
  • Cover your head with your arms or whatever is handy: pillow, cushion, book bag, etc.

Danger Zones

  • Windows that may shatter.
  • Bookcases, cabinets and furnishings that may topple.

Other Guidelines After the initial shock waves have passed, seek a place of safety outside, away from trees and overhead power lines, for example Sunderland Field.

Remain calm; do not run. Your presence of mind will help rescue workers safely remove people from buildings.

Give aid to those in need, but only if the situation is not threatening to your own life. If you must leave a victim, remember where they are and notify a security officer or maintenance person.

Do not attempt to re-enter any building. Even if the building looks undamaged, it may have broken water or gas lines or severed electrical cables, all of which are hazardous. Stay in a safe area until permission is given to return to the building.

Facilities services personnel will monitor all buildings for gas leaks and inspect for other damage. Buildings found to be unsafe will be secured and cordoned off with yellow warning tape.

As in any disaster, utilities and communication systems may be severely disrupted; what is available will be used for emergency traffic. Please do not try to call off campus. The Office of University Communications has developed a crisis communication plan and will relay information through news media and by other means.