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earthquakes

An earthquake is a violent moving or shaking of the earth's crust, generally caused by a release of tectonic stress along fault lines. Earthquakes are notoriously impossible to predict. They are most notably measured on the Richter Scale. An earthquake with a magnitude of less than "3" is rarely felt. An earthquake with a magnitude of "5" is considered moderate and can cause damage to poorly constructed buildings, while a "6" or larger causes major damage.

 Individual and Group Safety Information 

The following are important safety considerations in case of an earthquake:

ACTION WHILE INDOORS:

  • Get under tables or desks (if available), door arch or stairwell and stay away from large windows, shelving systems or tall room partitions.
  • Do not use elevators, in case of after shocks.
  • Implement the "Drop, Cover and Hold" procedure by doing the following:
  • Drop to your knees with back to windows and knees together.
  • Cover your neck by clasping both hands firmly behind your head. Also, bury your face  in your arms, protecting your head. And close your eyes tightly.
  • Hold that position (stay there) until subsequent instructions are given. Such instructions will depend upon circumstances and the extent of damage to the building.
  • As soon as possible, move away from windows and out from under the heavy suspended light fixtures.
  • Identify what equipment you should shut down if time permits.
  • Store flammable and hazardous chemicals in proper locked cabinets.
  • Make sure latches on cabinets, process tanks, storage tanks and closets are secured.
  • Keep breakable and heavy objects on lower shelves whenever possible.
  • Report the names and locations of injured persons to the University Police Department by dialing 911 and/or other emergency services personnel.
  • Be prepared for aftershocks. Earthquakes sometimes occur in a series of tremors, which could last for a period of several days. Aftershocks may last from a few seconds to as long as 5 minutes.
  • Notify the program manager responsible for animal safety precautions within any animal-based university research labs. The program manager is responsible for ensuring the continuity of this research and academic programming.


ACTION WHILE OUTDOORS:

  • Walk away from buildings, trees, power line poles and exposed wires.
  • Implement the "Drop, Cover and Hold" procedure (which follows), as well as cover your ears and as much skin as possible.
  • Drop to your knees with back to windows and knees together.
  • Cover your neck by clasping both hands firmly behind your head. Also, bury your face in your arms, protecting your head. And close your eyes tightly.
  • Hold that position (stay in the open) until subsequent instructions are given or until the earthquake is over.
  • Don't go near anything where there is a danger of falling debris.
  • Never take shelter in buildings with wide, free-span roofs (such as the Moore Fieldhouse.)
  • Report the names and locations of injured persons to the University Police Department by dialing 911 and/or other emergency services personnel.
  • Be prepared for aftershocks. Earthquakes sometimes occur in a series of tremors, which could last for a period of several days. Aftershocks may last from a few seconds to as long as 5 minutes.


ACTION BETWEEN CLASSES:

  • Implement the "Drop, Cover and Hold" procedure (which follows).
  • Drop to your knees with back to windows and knees together.
  • Cover your neck by clasping both hands firmly behind your head. Also, bury your face in your arms, protecting your head. And close your eyes tightly.
  • Hold that position (stay there) until subsequent instructions are given or until earthquake shaking ceases. When the earthquake shaking ceases, move to an area at a safe distance from buildings. When told to do so, proceed to an assigned evacuation area. If appropriate, use the university evacuation protocol, staying in open areas away from buildings and following the university's Emergency Action Plan.
  • Report the names and locations of injured persons to the University Police Department by dialing 911 and/or other emergency services personnel.
  • Do not re-enter buildings until officials have checked for possible structural damage, gas line leakage and other utility disruptions. Remember, lots of asbestos becomes friable during the ground shaking and can pose major difficulties for clean-up during recovery.
  • Be prepared for aftershocks. Earthquakes sometimes occur in a series of tremors, which could last for a period of several days. Aftershocks may last from a few seconds to as long as 5 minutes. 

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