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Employee Preparedness:

Employee preparedness begins at home. How well you and your family survive an earthquake often depends upon how well you prepare beforehand. The information provided here can be applied to emergency planning at home as well as in the workplace.

Before an Earthquake:

  • Conduct a home hazard hunt—know the safe and danger spots. Know how to shut off utilities. Secure water heater and major appliances; tall, heavy furniture; pictures and mirrors. Keep flammable or hazardous material liquid and heavy objects in secured cabinets or on lower shelves.
  • Create a family emergency plan. Include a communication plan so family members know how to reach each other; select an out-of-state contact for everyone to call to report their whereabouts; evacuation routes; where the family will meet to reunite if separated during the quake. Practice your plan!
  • Create an emergency kit of food, water and supplies for your home, car, and workplace.
  • Learn first aid and CPR.

During an Earthquake:

DROP - Drop down on the floor.

COVER - Take cover under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture. If that is not possible, seek cover against an interior wall and protect your head and neck with your arms. Avoid danger spots near windows, hanging objects, mirrors or tall furniture.

In high rise buildings, DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON. Avoid windows. Do not use elevators. Do not be surprised if sprinkler systems for fire alarms activate.

HOLD - If you take cover under a sturdy piece of furniture, HOLD on and be prepared to move with it. Hold the position until the ground stops shaking and it is safe to move.

After the Earthquake

  • After the shaking stops , check yourself and others for injuries, provide first aid, and move toward the nearest exit or alternate. DO NOT move victims unless absolutely necessary.
  • Replace telephone handsets that have been shaken off. DO NOT use telephones except to report fires and medical emergencies.
  • DO NOT use matches or other open flames.
  • DO NOTstrong> use elevators in the building.
  • Watch for falling debris and be aware of aftershocks.
  • Go to your department’s Evacuation Meeting Location. See department’s emergency action plan for specific details.
  • Do not leave the area/campus without reporting your status to your department team leader.
  • Evacuation Meeting Location:
  • For more detailed information on earthquakes and earthquake preparedness, see the State of Utah publication Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country: Your Handbook to Earthquakes in Utah (PDF, 36-page preparedness guide) at