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Practice Earthquake Safety

Earthquake Safety

Learn how to prepare for earthquakes and practice earthquake safety.


  • Create your department Emergency Action Plan.
  • Create your department Business Continuity Plan.
  • Practice and review your plans.
  • Clear any objects from under your desk.
  • Make an emergency supply kit, including food and water.
  • Post emergency telephone numbers (including an out-of-state contact).
  • Know how to shut off water, gas, and electricity at main switches.
  • Learn first aid and CPR.
  • Learn to operate an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and their UC San Diego locations.


Duck, Cover, Hold: Duck, cover your head with your arms and hold on to protect from falling debris.

Avoid: Stay away from windows, shelving systems, room partitions, and equipment containing hazardous chemicals. Most injuries result from flying objects. If you're outside, stay outside, but keep away from buildings, trees, and power lines.

When shaking ends:

  1. Look for trapped people and evacuate to designated assembly area. Use the stairs, not the elevator.
  2. Take keys, wallets, and emergency supply kits.
  3. During minor quakes in the form of rumbles or jolts, you don't need to evacuate. During strong or severe quakes, signaled by ceiling tiles falling and electricity outages, evacuate the building.

Roll call: Your safety coordinator should take roll call at a designated assembly area. Expect aftershocks and look out for fires, a common earthquake hazard due to damaged gas or electrical lines. Watch for falling debris from buildings.


  • Check with officials before attempting to return.
  • Be careful about fires, downed power lines, and other hazards.
  • If injuries or damage occurred, notify the Risk Management Office, (858) 534-3820.


Contact EH&S Emergency Management & Business Continuity, (858) 246-0695.