KPU's Office of Emergency Planning is committed to the Safety & Security of the entire KPU community. Below are some response procedures to familiarize yourself with in the event of an earthquake while at KPU. Remember it is important to also have a family/home emergency plan along with an emergency kit and/or emergency supplies. It is recommended to be able to be self-sufficient for at least 72 Hours, as it could take this long for help to arrive.

Before the Earthquake

  • Try to predetermine a safe location to take cover in
  • Be familiar with emergency plans and procedures
  • Know the safe and danger spots in each room you are familiar with
  • Have personal preparedness supplies at your home, office, car or bag
  • Participate in KPU's Shake Out BC Earthquake Drills
  • Update your personal information (cell phone #, emails etc.) on

During the Earthquake


What to expect during a major earthquake

  • Rattling and shaking of furniture and fixtures.
  • Considerable noise
  • Severe motion and swaying of the ground. People are often thrown uncontrollably off balance.
  • Failure of services and equipment including lights, telephones, elevators, heat and air conditioning.
  • Breakage of some exterior windows causing shattered glass
  • Toppling of free standing cabinets and bookshelves, and falling of mounted objects such as clocks and artwork or anything not firmly secured to walls and ceilings

How does it Start?

  • A gentle shaking may occur – objects may wobble on shelves or;
  • A violent jolt (similar to a sonic boom) may be heard and felt; or
  • A low (and perhaps very loud) rumbling noise may be heard

How long will it last?

The shaking may last from a few seconds to several minutes depending on the earthquake. There may be a number of aftershocks over several days, weeks or months. Ever increasing shaking will be experienced, by which time it will be difficult to move from one place to another.

What should I do?

Inside the Campus

  • Do not use elevators, unless authorized to do so by police or fire personnel. Elevators can fail during a fire or a major earthquake.
  • If you are inside, stay inside. DO NOT run outside or to other rooms while there is shaking.
  • Drop: Drop down onto your hands and knees
  • Cover: Cover your head and neck under a sturdy table or desk. If there is no shelter nearby, then get down near an interior wall and cover your head and neck with your arms and hands.
  • Hold On: Hold on to your shelter until the shaking stops. Be prepared to move with your shelter if the shaking shifts it around.

Outside the Campus

  • If you are outside, stay outside. DO NOT run inside the building. Do not go into buildings until they have been approved for re-entry.
  • Go to an open and clear area away if it is safe to do so. Avoid being close to buildings, glass, trees, signs, vehicles, power lines and other hazards.

While Driving or In Transit

  • Pull over to the side of the road (when safe to do so), stop the vehicle and set the handbrake. Avoid overpasses, bridges, power lines, signs and other hazards.
  • Stay inside the vehicle until the shaking is over. If a power line falls on the car, stay inside until a trained person removes the wire.
  • If you are on the bus stay seated until the bus stops. Then Drop, Cover and Hold until the shaking stops. Follow instructions of the bus operator and/or staff. Remain in the bus if it is safe to do so.

Mobility Challenges

  • If you can, follow the drop, cover, hold on procedure
  • If you are in a wheelchair, move to an inner wall if safe to do so. Lock the brakes and cover your head with your arms. Protect your head with whatever is available like a pillow, book, blanket etc.
  • When the shaking stops, move to areas of refuge.

After the Earthquake (After the Shaking Stops)

KPU's Emergency Notification System should activate alerting students, staff and faculty with the following initial message: “EARTHQUAKE confirmed. Report damage or injury. Aftershocks possible. More information to follow.”

  • After the shaking stops, count to 60 and then it is important to stay calm and move cautiously. At this point if it is safe to do so, move outside to an open area and gather with others to wait for further information. If possible gather at an assembly area and check in with the Fire Warden.
  • As you are moving around, check for unstable objects and other hazards around you. Avoid broken glass and debris.
  • Do not use elevators or re-enter buildings until they are approved for reentry.
  • Be aware for potential aftershocks. If an aftershock occurs, treat it as another earthquake and continue to Drop, Cover and Hold On.