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Earthquake Safety Information

At 4:45 PM, ALL campus buildings have been cleared for reentry. This includes the main and Tenley Campuses, Washington College of Law, and all off campus buildings. There have been no reports of serious injuries or damage. If you have any questions please call the university information line at 202-885-1000.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation during this unusual event. We will continue to provide updates as they become available.

Earthquake Safety Information



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.).

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; encourage others to do likewise.

If you are outside, get into the open, away from 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. 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.

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 in closets 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.