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General guidance for natural disasters includes:
  • DO NOT use matches or lighters, in case of leaking natural gas pipes or nearby fuel tanks.
  • Crouch down and cover your head. Interior stairwells are good places to take shelter.
  • DO help direct people with special needs to a safe place.
  • Stay indoors, do not exit building or use elevators.
  • Stay away from all windows and avoid being underneath heavy objects that may fall.
  • Remain calm and alert; listen for information and instructions from emergency crews and/or local officials.

About 10% of all thunderstorms are classified as severe—ones that produce large hail, have winds of 58 miles per hour of higher or produce a tornado.*

*National Weather Service


  • DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!)
  • TAKE COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and
  • HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops.

In modern buildings, falling down or being struck by falling objects causes most earthquake-related injuries. DROP, COVER and HOLD ON immediately.

  • STAY INDOORS, do not exit building or use elevators.
  • STAY AWAY from all windows and large glass objects.
  • AVOID being underneath heavier objects such as lights, wall hangings and other items which may fall.
  • HELP DIRECT people with special needs to a safe place, if necessary.
  • Wheelchair-bound individuals should lock brakes.


  • Move to an area AWAY FROM trees, power lines, buildings and walls.
  • DROP TO KNEES and get into a fetal position, close your eyes and cross your arms over the back of your neck for protection.
  • REMAIN in position until shaking has stopped.

When aftershocks stop:

  • DO NOT USE cell phones, EXCEPT to report serious injuries.
  • ASSIST in the building evacuation of people with special needs, if safe to do so.
  • TUNE radios to an emergency broadcast or local radio stations for news updates and instructions.
  • BE PREPARED to evacuate if instructed to do so. (The decision to evacuate from campus will be based upon the severity of the earthquake and damage to buildings).
  • The university will provide instructions for immediate actions by available means.
  • IF INSTRUCTED to evacuate, see “EVACUATION” section of this guide.
  • DO NOT ENTER any building that is deemed or looks UNSAFE.