After-the-Quake Personal Protocol


  • Check yourself for injuries. Don’t try to help anyone else or do anything until you know you are OK.
  • If you or someone else is bleeding, apply pressure to the wound.
  • Put on sturdy shoes if you have them in your office. Work gloves, a dust mask, and eye protection are also good things to wear.
  • Expect aftershocks. These secondary shockwaves are usually less violent than the main quake but can be strong enough to do additional damage to weakened structures and can occur in the first hours, days, weeks, or even months after the quake.
  • Evacuate your building, watching for falling debris such as ceiling tiles and light fixtures.
  • If safe to do so on your way out, unplug broken or damaged electrical appliances and lights, which can start a fire when power is restored.
  • If you are trapped by falling items or a collapse, protect your mouth, nose and eyes from dust. Signal for help:  blow a whistle or knock loudly three times in a row. Do not yell.
  • Be aware of falling debris from buildings; stay at least 150 feet away from damaged buildings.
  • Report to Lovik Field below the tennis courts.
  • Don’t move severely injured people unless they are in imminent danger of additional injury. Cover them with blankets or additional clothing if possible.
  • Use the telephone only for brief emergency calls.
  • Stay away from damaged areas on campus.
  • Once you have evacuated, don’t reenter any buildings on campus until the structural engineer has declared them sound.
  • Open cabinets cautiously. Beware of objects that can fall off shelves.
  • Watch out for electrical system damage. If you see sparks, broken or frayed wires or downed power lines, stay away. Never touch downed power lines or any other wire or electrical line.
  • Watch out for spilled medicines, bleaches, gasoline, lye or other flammable liquids and use extreme caution. Cover spilled items with dirt and isolate them. Leave the area if you smell gas or fumes from other chemicals.
  • Watch out for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building or the area.
  • Watch out for leaking sewage and water lines and stay away from these areas.