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Earthquake Preparedness


Know the safest places in your office, work area or living unit. These areas should be away from heavy furniture, appliances, fireplaces, and large panes of glass (windows, mirrors, etc.) and should be in an inside corner of a room.


During an Earthquake

  • If you are indoors, DROP to the floor. Take COVER under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture. HOLD ON to it and be prepared to move with it. Hold the position until the ground stops shaking and it is safe to move. Stay clear of windows, fireplaces, wood stoves, and heavy furniture or appliances. Stay inside! If you are in a crowded area, take cover and stay where you are; get as low as possible and protect your head and neck.
  • If you are in a wheelchair, lock your wheels and remain seated until the shaking stops. Always protect your head and neck with your arms, a pillow, or whatever available.
  • If you are blind or have low vision, keep in mind that earthquakes cause items to fall and furniture to shift. Regular sound clues may not be available. Move with caution.
  • If you are outside, get into the open, away from trees, buildings and power lines. Be watchful for falling glass and building debris.
  • If you are driving, stop if it is safe, but stay inside your car and apply the parking brake. Stay away from bridges, overpasses and tunnels. Move your car as far out of the normal traffic pattern as possible. If possible, avoid stopping under trees, light posts, power lines or signs. 

MYTH: In modern homes, doorways are no stronger than any other part of the house. You are safer under a table.

After an Earthquake

  • Check for injuries. Do not move a seriously injured person unless he or she is in immediate danger of further injuries. If you need emergency assistance, call public safety at x3636.
  • Be aware of any structural damage around you. If necessary and safe to do so, carefully leave the building per the “General Emergency Evacuation Procedures.”
  • Always check for hazards:
    • Fire and fire hazards.
    • Damaged electrical wiring.
    • Downed or damaged utility lines. Stay away from downed lines, even if power appears to be off.
    • Fallen objects and cabinets. Displaced objects may fall when you open the door. 
    • Telephones. Make sure each phone is on its receiver. Telephones off the hook can tie up the telephone network.
    • Potentially harmful materials and/or medicines that may have spilled.
  • Expect aftershocks. Most of these are smaller than the main earthquake, but some may be large enough to do additional damage to weakened structures.
  • If you are instructed to go to a shelter, take blankets, a flashlight, clothing, prescription medications, and snack items, etc.
  • Campus officials will provide further guidance via AU Alerts. Please be patient while the initial assessments are made.
  • *Information in this document was obtained by*

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Great ShakeOut Earthquake Preparedness

Great Shake Out Earthquake Preparedness 2013

Great ShakeOut 2013