Environmental Health & Safety

Earthquake Safety


Earthquakes are inevitable, but the damage from earthquakes is not. Many people think the destruction caused by earthquakes is unavoidable, and that our only option is to pick up the pieces after the shaking stops. No! Earthquake damage and loss can be limited by steps you take before, during, and after. Many also think that all the damage and injuries from earthquakes comes from collapsing buildings. Again, no! As buildings are designed better, more of the losses in earthquakes are from objects that break or fall on people causing injury.

The seven steps described in this section show how we can be safer by knowing what to do before, during, and after earthquakes. The steps may also save a lot of money when structures and contents are not damaged. In addition to following the steps at home, they should also be followed in schools, workplaces, and other facilities. If we all follow these steps, we may save billions of dollars in the next large earthquake. Most importantly, we can reduce the risk of being injured or killed.  

7 Steps to Earthquake Safety

Step 1. Identify potential hazards in your home and begin to fix them

Step 2. Create a disaster preparedness plan

Step 3. Create disaster supplies kits

Step 4. Identify your building's potential weaknesses and begin to fix them

Step 5. Protect yourself during earthquake shaking: DROP, COVER, and HOLD ON

Step 6. After the earthquake, check for injuries and damage

Step 7. When safe, continue to follow your disaster-preparedness plan

For more information, refer to the Southern California Earthquake Center at USC. You can also download the Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country handbook.

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Environmental Health & Safety

Environmental Health & Safety
Environmental Health & Safety

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