Earthquakes occur without warning. They may be so intense you cannot safety move; you may be knocked to the ground or unable to go anywhere. Immediate protect yourself as best you can wherever you are.

What to do during an earthquake

During shaking – Drop, Cover, Hold on

If you are inside

  • Stay inside until after the shaking stops
  • Stay away from windows, shelves and heavy objects which may fall
  • Drop under heavy furniture such as a table, desk or any solid furniture
  • Cover you head, face and torso to prevent being hit by falling objects
  • Hold on to the object that you are under so that you remain covered. Be prepared to move with the object until the shaking has finished
  • If you cannot get under something strong, or if you are in a hallway, crouch against an interior wall and protect your head and neck with your arms
  • Stay away from an exterior wall, as it is more likely to sustain damage during an earthquake

Mobility limitations or people with a mobility disability

  • 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 if able, cover your head with your arms
  • If available, use a blanket or pillow to shield your face and neck from falling debris/glass
  • When the shaking stops move to a safe area

If you are outside

  • Stay outside
  • Move to an open area away from buildings, glass and powerlines
  • Do not entre any building until they have been approved for re-entry

If you are in transit

  • In a car – pull over. Avoid overhead structure (i.e. bridges and overpasses). Set the parking brake and stay inside
  • On a bus – Stay seated until the bus stops. Drop, cover and hold on until the shaking stops. Stay inside if it is safe

After the shaking stops

  • Count to 60 to allow debris to finish falling
  • Assess your immediate surroundings for dangers
  • Proceed with evacuation procedures
    • Leave the building via the nearest safe exit
    • Use stairs and walk. Do not use elevators or run
    • Assist persons with disabilities
    • Proceed to assembly area or, if unable, wait in a safe area
  • Do not re-entre the building until advised by university officials
  • If an aftershock occurs during evacuation and you are still inside the building, repeat Drop, Cover, and Hold on procedure before resuming evacuation