3.10 - Earthquake Safety


Before An Earthquake-Right Now
* Your department and/or building should have an Earthquake Operations Plan (EOP) in place. This includes an evacuation map, an emergency telephone list, and an Emergency Assembly Point (EAP).

* Rearrange cluttered storage areas (especially in hallways or near exits) to provide evacuation routes in the event of an emergency. If items are stored or secured along exit routes, they must be approved by the Fire Marshal.

* Secure bookcases, filing cabinets, shelves, racks, and similar items over four feet tall.

* Store valuable and shock-sensitive materials, such as computer disks and glassware in latched cabinets or on lipped shelves to prevent falling.

* Move or rearrange your desk or work tables away from windows if possible.

* Inspect your work areas periodically to maintain awareness and to identify situations that need correction.

* Keep large and heavy objects stored on low levels of shelves and cabinets.

* Hold periodic earthquake drills.

* Earthquake Survival Kits are available for purchase at Electrical Engineering Stores (723-9680) in the Electronic Research Laboratory Building, Room 223, for about $24.00. They are also available from Central Stores (723-9606), stock #291007, for about $20.00.

During An Earthquake
* Stay calm. Think through the consequences of any action you take. Try to reassure others.

* If indoors, watch for falling plaster, bricks, light fixtures, cabinets, and other objects. Stay away from windows, mirrors, and chimneys.

- Get under a table, desk, or bed

- Get in a corner away from windows

- Get in a strong doorway--but don't let the door slam on your fingers!

Do not run outside until the shaking has stopped--debris may be falling from roofs.

* If in a highrise office building, get under a desk. Do not dash for exits, since stairways may be broken and jammed with people. Do not use elevators.

* If outside, avoid high buildings, walls, power poles, and other objects which could fall. Do not run through streets. If possible, move to an open area away from all hazards.

* If on the road, pull over and stop until you believe it is safe to continue.

* Go directly to your Emergency Assembly Point, especially if the earthquake has been severe.

* If your situation is health-threatening, call 9-911 from University phones (or 911 from public phones) and/or send a runner to the Emergency Operations Center-Stanford Police, 711 Serra.

* If you detect a hazardous gas or chemical, stay away from the material until it can be identified by appropriately trained staff (call 723-0448 for assistance, or 723-2281 during off- hours).

* If uncertain about any potential hazard in a building or work area, please do not enter that workspace. Call 723-0448 for assistance.

* Await further instructions from either your supervisor or building manager.

* Take pictures of all damage prior to cleaning it up.


Before An Earthquake-Right Now
* Bolt down water heaters and other gas appliances since fire damage can result from broken gas lines and appliance connections.

* Place large and heavy objects on the lower shelves. Securely fasten shelves to walls.

* Brace or bolt down tall or top-heavy objects.

* Teach responsible members of your family how to turn off electricity, gas, and water main switches and valves. Check with your local utilities office for instructions.

* Prepare for earthquakes by taking basic First Aid and CPR. Call the local American Red Cross (322-2143) or Stanford's Health Improvement Program (725-4406) for information about classes.

* Keep a flashlight and battery-powered transistor radio in your home, ready for use at all times. Keep extra, fresh batteries handy.

* Make certain household chemicals are stored safely.

* Keep essentials at home such as canned food and water (at least a three-day supply for each person).

* Conduct calm family discussions about earthquakes and other possible disasters.

* Have first-aid kits on hand and, if taking medications, always have at least a week's supply on hand.

After An Earthquake
* Wear durable shoes in all areas near debris and broken glass.

* Review fire hazards such as leaking gas or utility lines.

* Shut off main gas valve only if a leak is suspected or identified.

* Do not turn on gas again until you are certain it is safe to do so.

* Shut off electrical power at the control box if there is any damage to your home wiring.

* Do not use lighters or electrical equipment until you are certain no gas leaks exists (this includes candles).

* Do not operate any electrical switches or appliances if there may be a gas leak. (Sparks can ignite gas from broken lines.)

* Do not use your telephone to report a gas leak since even a small spark could be enough to cause an explosion.

* Do not search for gas leaks with a match.

* While checking closets and cupboards, open doors with caution since objects may be on the edge of the shelves.