Before an Earthquake
Create an Emergency Communications Plan
Because being able to keep in touch during a crisis is so important, USC recommends that every student, faculty and staff member develop a family emergency communications plan. Get tips about implementing your own emergency communications plan.
Create an Emergency Survival Kit
After a major earthquake, many of the services we take for granted, such as running water, electricity and telephones, may be unavailable. For this reason, experts recommend that people should be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least three days. Get a list of supplies you should have in your emergency survival kits at home, at work and in the car.
Make Your Home and Office Earthquake-Safe
- Ensure that no heavy or breakable items - such as bicycles or stereo or television equipment - are stored high up in the room.
- Bolt tall bookcases to the wall.
- Secure computers, televisions and stereo equipment with QuakeGrip Velcro.
- Secure hanging plants and heavy pictures with closed-eye hooks.
- Install latches on cabinet doors.
- Locate safe spots and danger spots. Safe spots include: under a table or desk, braced in an interior corner away from shelves and windows. Danger spots include: near windows, glass doors, mirrors, hanging objects, tall unsecured furniture and kitchen areas.
- Become familiar with alternate exit routes in the building as well as with the emergency assembly point outside the building.
- Keep all exit routes clear and unblocked.
Make Your Laboratory Earthquake-Safe
- Maintain backup copies of important data (electronic as well as hard-copy).
- Store chemicals properly to avoid spills, and regularly remove waste chemicals.
- Secure gas cylinders in an upright position, and keep fume hood sashes closed as far as possible.
- Keep heavy objects secured on or near the floor.
- Use flexible hose connections for lab equipment, especially gas supply lines.
- Provide backup power for freezers and refrigerators.
- Keep storage cabinets closed and latched.
- Equip storage shelves with lips or restraints to keep chemicals and glassware in place.
- Secure animal cages to keep them from moving or breaking open.
- Keep safety systems (fire extinguishers, safety showers, eye washes) accessible and in proper operating condition.