Oklahoma Homeland Security

Federal Emergency Management Agency

City of Midwest City Emergency Management

U.S. Department of Education

California Earthquake Center

Arkansas Dept. of Emergency Management

Before an Earthquake

  • Fasten shelves securely to walls.
  • Place large or heavy objects on lower shelves.
  • Store breakable items such as bottled foods, glass, and china in low, closed cabinets.
  • Fasten heavy items such as pictures and mirrors securely to walls and away from anywhere people sit.
  • Locate safe spots in each room under a sturdy table or against an inside wall. Reinforce this information during class discussions and faculty meetings.

During an Earthquake

  • Drop, cover and Hold On . Minimize your movements to a few steps to a nearby safe place and if you are indoors, stay there until the shaking has stopped and you are sure exiting is safe.

If Indoors

  • DROP to the ground; take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and HOLD ON until the shaking stops. If there is not a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in place.
  • Move away from any wall shelving.
  • Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.
  • Protect your head from items that could fall.
  • Do not use a doorway except if you know it is a strongly supported, load-bearing doorway and it is close to you. Many inside doorways are lightly constructed and do not offer protection..
  • Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Do not exit a building during the shaking. Research has shown that most injuries occur when people inside buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave.
  • DO NOT use the elevators.
  • Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.

If Outdoors

  • Stay there.
  • Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.
  • Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops. The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings, at exits and alongside exterior walls. Many injuries occur during earthquakes when people run outside of buildings only to be injured by falling debris from collapsing walls. Ground movement during an earthquake is seldom the direct cause of injury. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.

After an Earthquake

  • When the shaking stops, look around to make sure it is safe to move.
  • 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.
  • Contact appropriate school personnel after the event for further guidance.
  • If phone systems are impaired due to congestion, utilize the emergency hand held radios for further instructions.
  • Be careful when driving after an earthquake and anticipate traffic light outages.
  • After it is determined that its' safe to return, your safety and students should be your primary priority as you begin clean up and recovery.
  • Open cabinets cautiously. Beware of objects that can fall off shelves.
  • Leave the area if you smell gas or fumes from other chemicals.
  • Inspect the entire facility for damage. Unnoticed damage could lead to a fire.
  • Inspect utilities: If you smell gas or hear blowing or hissing noise, quickly leave the building. Look for electrical system damage. Check for sewage and water lines damage. If you suspect sewage lines are damaged, avoid using the toilets.