Earthquake Safety

Earthquake Information

This is a list of recommendations of what to do in the event of an earthquake. This information was compiled from many sources, including the American Red Cross and the United States Geological Survey. We appreciate the heightened interest in disaster preparedness and will provide additional information in the coming months.

If you are indoors

Immediately duck, cover and hold.

Duck under a sturdy piece of furniture, cover your eyes with your arm and hold on. If you are not near a strong table or desk, sit on the floor near an interior wall and away from windows, fireplaces, appliances or furniture that could topple over. Doorways are not necessarily safer than other locations. Avoid being in or under stairwells or near building expansion joints.

Wait until the shaking stops to exit the building. The earthquake may cause power outages and broken water lines or it might activate sprinkler systems or fire alarms. Watch out for downed electrical lines, slippery, wet floors and debris.

If you are outdoors

Get in the open away from trees, power lines, light posts, signs, buildings and chimneys.

If you are driving

Slow down and move off to the side of the road. Do not stop on bridges, under overpasses, or near power lines, trees, light posts or signs.

General precautions

After an earthquake exit the building carefully, watching out for broken glass and dangling overhead building materials (light fixtures, ventilation grilles, ceiling grids).

Chemical containers may fall and break causing chemical spills. Only trained personnel using self-contained respirators should enter lab areas until chemical spills are assessed.

Do not re-enter the buildings until approved by the emergency response incident commander.

Be aware that the central campus has a 2" natural gas line running from the Central Utility Plant to the Lab Buildings (including Labs I, II and Annex) and a 1" natural gas line to the Child Care Center. There are above ground propane tanks at the Longhouse and Motor Pool. Our emergency procedures call for gas to be shut off until we can assess the gas lines.

The campus has underground tunnels that contain steam, electrical, water, chilled water and telecommunication lines. The tunnels are heavily reinforced and are not likely to collapse in the event of an earthquake.

Additional Information: