Procedures to deal with earthquakes are much less specific than other emergencies. Everyone must initiate emergency precautions within a few seconds after an initial tremor is felt, assuming the worst-possible case.
The best earthquake precautions to take involve evaluating your work area by securing or removing objects above you that could fall during an earthquake. Emergency personnel will check all buildings immediately after a major quake. Priority is given to residence halls and buildings with elevators.
During the Earthquake
Take the following actions when an earthquake begins:
- Remain calm and act, don’t react.
- Seek shelter under a desk or table or in a doorway frame and hold on. Stay away from windows, shelves, and heavy equipment.
- Move away from buildings, utility poles, overhead wires, and other structures if outdoors. Avoid downed power or utility lines as they may be energized. Do not attempt to enter buildings until you are advised to do so by emergency personnel.
- Stop in the safest place available if you are in an automobile, preferably an open area away from power lines and trees. Stop as quickly as safety permits, and stay in the vehicle for the shelter it provides.
After the Initial Shock
Take the following actions after the initial shock has taken place:
- Be prepared for aftershocks. Aftershocks are usually less intense than the main quake, but they can cause further structural damage to buildings.
- Protect yourself at all times.
- Evaluate the situation and call 911 for emergency assistance if necessary.
- Do not use lanterns, torches, lighted cigarettes, or open flames, since gas leaks could be present.
- Open windows, etc., to ventilate a building. Watch out for broken glass.
- Implement the fire protocol if the earthquake causes a fire.
- Determine whether anyone has been caught in the elevators or was trapped by falling objects. Call 911 or 9-911 immediately if this has happened.
- Evacuate a building if its structural integrity appears to be deteriorating rapidly.
Do not use a telephone unless it is absolutely necessary for emergencies. Heavy use of the telephone will tie up the lines and prevent emergency calls from going out.
Report building damages to Facilities Management at 260-481-6832. Gas leaks and power failures create special hazards. Follow established building evacuation procedures if a fire alarm sounds.
Do not panic if you become trapped in a building. Take the following actions:
- Place an article of clothing (e.g., shirt, coat) outside a window as a marker for rescue crews.
- Tap on a wall at regular intervals to alert emergency personnel of your location if there is no window in the room.
Nonemergency Contact Information
University Police: 260-481-6827
Radiologic and Environmental Management: 260-481-4193
Facilities Management: 260-481-6832
If you are outdoors and hear a siren, go indoors. If you are indoors and hear a siren, go outdoors.
Act, don't react
Seek shelter under a desk, table, or under a doorway frame and hold on.
Stay away from windows, shelves, and heavy equipment.
Evacuate the building if an alarm sounds or if told to do so by emergency personnel.
Move away from building, utility poles, overhead wires, and other structures. Avoid downed power or utility lines, as they may be energeized.
Do not call 911 unless you require immediate emergency assistance.