How to Prepare

Decide on a pre-arranged meeting place to retreat to after an earthquake. Look at your surroundings and think about where you could seek shelter from falling objects. Secure overhead items in your work area to avoid injury during an earthquake. Keep a few supplies in your desk, such as a flashlight, emergency-contact phone numbers, a pair of comfortable walking shoes, and a battery-powered radio. Become familiar with all the exits in your building.

What to Do

  • Remain calm.
  • If indoors, DROP, COVER and HOLD under a freestanding desk or table.
  • Stay away from windows, tall objects and overhead lights.
  • If there is no heavy item to take cover under (i.e. furniture, doorway, and entryway), then crouch near a sturdy wall and cover your head with your arms.
  • Shield your head and face from falling debris.
  • If outdoors, move away from buildings, utility wires, and all other overhead obstructions.

What Not to Do

  • Don’t rush outside. Many earthquake injuries occur due to falling debris just outside doorways.
  • Don’t use the elevators.
  • Don’t use the phone and don’t call 911 or Public Safety unless a subsequent emergency exists, such as an injury from falling debris.
  • Don’t use matches, lighters or other open flames and don’t turn on lights or electrical equipment in case of gas leaks or electrical damage.

What to Do After

  • Check for injuries to yourself and others, report injuries to Public Safety at (206) 296-5911, and administer first aid if necessary and you are qualified to do so.
  • Don’t move seriously injured individuals unless there is an immediate threat to safety.
  • Evacuate the building if it is damaged, if there are gas leaks or fires, or if directed to do so by University officials. Move away from the building to a designated evacuation area.
  • Use extreme caution in rescue attempts if others are trapped. If possible, wait for trained personnel to guide rescue efforts.
  • Make note of people who are missing and report them to a Building Marshal. A Building Marshal will be at each designated evacuation location and can be identified by a bright colored traffic vest.