Earthquakes | Webster University


An earthquake safety plan is more than just developing a response plan, it is an ongoing plan that includes identifying hazards, conducting drills, and developing plans to provide care and shelter to students, faculty and visitors until help arrives.

The need for a sound and effective plan is based on the following assumptions:

  1. A major earthquake can occur without warning.
  2. The event could cause widespread damage, serious injury and death.
  3. The event could cause fire, explosions and release of toxic chemicals.
  4. Transportation, communications and other services will be interrupted.
  5. Outside medical, fire and police personnel will be extremely busy and probably will not be able to assist our campus for several hours or even days. The accepted rule is that we would have to be self sufficient for at least 72 hours.

What to expect during an earthquakes

There will be a gentle shaking or a violent jolt. Or you may hear a low rumbling sound. Shortly, you will really feel the shaking and it will be difficult to move around.

Earthquakes Procedures

If indoors

  1. Stay indoors, remain where you are.
  2. Move away from the windows, shelves and heavy objects.
  3. Take cover under a desk, table or strong doorway.
  4. If unable to get to a designated safe area, move to an interior wall.
  5. Turn away from any windows, kneel alongside the wall, cover your head with elbows and clasp your hands behind your neck.
  6. Stay alert.

If outdoors

  1. Move to an open space.
  2. Stay away from telephone poles and power lines.
  3. Move away from buildings.
  4. Lie down or crouch low to the ground.
  5. Stay alert.

After the earthquake

  1. Do not light fires or smoke.
  2. Do not touch wires, and do not enter buildings until they have been checked.
  3. Evacuate the area via the evacuation routes posted for that area.
  4. Assemble at the designated assembly area and await further instructions from emergency personnel
  5. Faculty and staff should make sure that everyone is accountable for.