Earthquake Response Guidelines

Quick Response Guidelines:

  1. "Drop, Cover, Hold" under a table or desk or against an inside wall—not in a doorway—until the shaking stops.
  2. After shaking stops, check yourself and others for injuries and move toward the nearest exit.
  3. Evacuate the building; do not use elevators.
  4. Go to your evacuation assembly point for more information and critical updates.
  5. Do not leave the area/campus without reporting your status to your instructor or an evacuation warden.

Detailed Response Guidelines:

During the Earthquake

If you are indoors: 

  • Stay indoors!
  • DROP to the ground; take COVER by getting under a sturdy table, bench or desk and HOLD on. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch down into a ball next to an interrior wall.* Move away from windows that may break and furniture or large objects that could fall over.
  • Be aware that the electricity may go out and fire alarms and sprinkler systems may activate.
  • If you are in a THEATER OR STADIUM, stay in your seat or get under it if possible, and protect your head with your arms. Do not try to leave until the shaking is over.
  • If you are in a CROWDED ROOM OR PUBLIC PLACE, do not rush for exits. Move away from display shelves holding objects that could fall on you and “drop, cover and hold.”
  • DO NOT use elevators.

If you are OUTDOORS:

  • Stay outdoors!
  • Move to an open area away from trees, buildings, utility poles and lines, or signs.
  • If you are on a sidewalk near a tall building, get inside the building’s lobby to protect yourself from falling bricks, glass or other debris.
  • Greatest danger exists directly outside buildings at exits and alongside exterior walls.

If you are DRIVING:

  • Pull to the side of the road as quickly as possible, but keep away from overhead hazards such as trees, buildings, utility poles and lines, signs, and bridges. Stay in the vehicle until the shaking stops.

After the Earthquake

  • Check yourself and those around you for injuries.
  • Only after the shaking stops, evacuate cautiously, taking your keys, wallet, purse, coat, and any emergency supplies.
  • On your way out, look for signs of building damage or for persons who are injured or trapped. Watch for falling objects as you leave the building.
  • Be prepared for aftershocks.
  • Go to your department Evacuation Assembly Point, tell your supervisor or department floor warden that you are out of the building and report injured or trapped persons and any signs of building damage you observed.
  • Turn on a battery-powered or vehicle radio if available for information.
  • If possible, do not use the phone for local calls, except emergencies, during the first 15-30 minutes after the earthquake. Overloading the phone system with calls may delay the delivery of emergency assistance.

Additional Information:

(source: http://www.washington.edu/emergency/hazards/earthquake)