Earthquake Safety Tips


Earthquakes strike without warning and the major quake is usually followed by numerous after shocks, which may last for weeks or months.

An earthquake's effect on buildings will vary from building to building. Fire alarm or sprinkler systems may be activated by the shaking. Elevators and stairways may be damaged.

The major threat of injury during an earthquake is from falling objects and debris, and many injuries are sustained while entering or leaving buildings. Therefore, during the earthquake, it is important to remain inside the building.

For additional information on earthquake safety, family emergency plans and emergency kits, visit Ready

Emergency Preparedness Checklist along with items

emergency items, first aid kit, flash light, whistle, etc...

Safety Procedures

  1. Give drop and cover command.
  2. Drop to knees, clasp both hands behind neck, bury face in arms, make body as small as possible, close eyes and cover ears with forearms.
  3. After shaking stops, check for injuries and render first aid, if able.
  4. Evacuate if ordered by Emergency Responders or a Building Coordinator or there is a fire, gas leak or other life threatening condition.
  5. Do not light any fires.
  6. Do not return to building unless authorized by Police, Fire and Administration Officials.
  7. Keep a safe distance from any downed power lines.
  8. Report any missing students or persons unable to evacuate to the Building Coordinator and Emergency Responders.
  9. Stay alert for aftershocks.
  10. Building Coordinator will issue further instructions.
  11. Note: If you use a wheelchair or have other mobility impairments and cannot duck, cover and hold, if possible, bend over, close your eyes and cover your head and neck with your arms.

In a Car

  1. Pull to the side of the road, stop and set the parking brake.
  2. Avoid bridges and overhead hazards.
  3. Stay inside the vehicle until the shaking stops.

Inside Buildings

  1. Get under a sturdy desk or table, or in an interior corner, face away from glass. If notebooks, jackets or pillows are handy, hold over your head for added protection.
  2. Stay away from windows, bookcases, heavy objects and other falling hazards.
  3. Drop to knees, clasp both hands behind neck, bury face in arms, make body as small as possible, close eyes and cover ears with forearms.
  4. Maintain position until shaking stops.
  5. Be alert and expect aftershocks.


Outside Buildings

  1. Assume drop and cover position in an open space away from wires, buildings and anything else that could fall and hurt you.
  2. Maintain position until shaking stops.
  3. Do not enter building until it is determined to be safe and authorized by police/fire and SJSU Officials.
  4. Be alert and expect aftershocks.