If you are indoors:

  • "DROP, COVER AND HOLD ON." If you are not near a strong table or desk, drop to the floor against an interior wall and cover your head and neck with your arms.
  • Avoid windows, hanging objects, mirrors, tall furniture (filing cabinets and bookshelves), large appliances and cabinets filled with heavy objects.
  • Do not try to run out of your building during strong shaking—you can be killed or injured by falling debris (glass, roof tiles, concrete, etc.).
  • If you are on campus, it is safer to remain inside a building after an earthquake unless there is a fire or gas leak. There are few open spaces in the Westwood area far enough from glass or other falling debris to be considered safe refuge sites. Glass from high-rise buildings does not always fall straight down; it can catch a wind current and travel great distances.
  • If you are in bed, stay there and cover your head with a pillow.
  • Do not use elevators.
  • If you use a wheelchair, lock the wheels and cover your head.

If you are outdoors:

  • Move to a clear area if you can safely walk. There are no overhead power lines on the campus, but you should avoid buildings and trees.
  • If you're driving, pull to the side of the road and stop. Avoid stopping under overhead hazards or near buildings.

Once the shaking stops:

  • Be prepared for aftershocks—they may be frequent and could exceed the first quake.
  • Check the people around you for injuries; provide first aid. Do not move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of a gas leak, hazardous material spill, fire or falling debris.
  • Check around you for dangerous conditions such as fires, downed power lines and structure damage.
  • If you have fire extinguishers and are trained to use them, put out small fires immediately.
  • Check your phones to be sure they have not shaken off the hook and are tying up a line.
  • Inspect your residence and work areas for damage.

If you are trapped in debris:

  • Move as little as possible so that you don't kick up dust. Cover your nose and mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.
  • Tap on a pipe or wall so that rescuers can hear where you are. Use a whistle if one is available (keep one in your emergency kit). Shout only as a last resort.