Earthquake Safety

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A major earthquake will cause shaking of the earth or building. This shaking may begin as a gently rocking motion or as violent jolt.

During an Earthquake

  1. Seek protection from falling debris in doorways, under desks or tables or in corners of rooms.  Do not seek cover under laboratory benches or tables, as chemical spills are possible.
  2. Do not use elevators.
  3. If outside, move away from buildings, power lines and trees.  Seek open areas.
  4. If driving, pull to the side of the road and stop immediately.  Avoid overpasses and power lines.  Stay inside the vehicle until the shaking has ceased.

After an Earthquake

  1. Collect personal belongings (coat, purse, cell phone), leave the building quickly and gather at the designated meeting area.
  2. If persons are injured, missing or known to be trapped inside the building, call MSU Police at 911. If there is no answer, or if the line is busy, call 2222. It may be necessary to send a runner to MSU Police.
  3. To expedite rescue and emergency services, a sign should be posted on the front of the building with the following information:
    • The date
    • The time
    • The number of people known inside
    • The location(s) of the persons known inside
  4. Provide assistance to those who have mobility impairments or to those who may be trapped by fallen debris.
  5. Check for injuries, but do not attempt to move a seriously injured person unless there is a greater danger by not doing so.  Call MSU Police at 911.
  6. Use telephones only to report emergencies (i.e. gas leaks, fire or injuries).
  7. Only Facilities Management or other trained individuals should attempt to turn utilities on or off.
  8. Never touch downed utility poles or lines. Do not approach damaged building equipment.
  9. Avoid open flames due to potential gas leaks.
  10. Do not drive a vehicle unless warranted by an emergency.  Streets should be kept clear for emergency vehicles.
  11. Be prepared for aftershocks.  Aftershocks are usually smaller than the initial earthquake, but they may be strong enough to topple already damaged buildings.

Remember, a significant earthquake will affect an entire community.  Rescues and/or assistance may not be immediate.  During emergencies that render broad, citywide impacts, it may be necessary to assume responsibility for the safety of oneself and if possible, others in the vicinity who need aid.