Drop, Cover and Hold

The major risk in the event of a strong earthquake is not the direct effect of the quake itself, but the rush due to public panic and hysteria. College staff members should take charge and give instructions in a firm, calm voice to reassure the nervous, thus helping to prevent hysteria or panic. During an earthquake, remain calm and quickly follow the steps outlined below:


When you feel an earthquake, drop under a desk or sturdy table. Stay away from windows, bookcases, file cabinets, heavy mirrors, hanging plants, and other objects that could fall. Individuals in open hallways on upper level floors (example: Rose Center) should move away from the railings and against the wall. If possible, stay under cover until the shaking stops. Hold onto the desk or table. If it moves, move with it. After the quake is over, evacuate the building and move personnel to a safe outdoor area until the building has been inspected and declared safe by authorized personnel.

Help individuals with disabilities exit the building. Do not use elevators in case of fire. Do not panic.


Move to a clear area, away from trees, signs, buildings, or downed electrical wires and poles.


Damaged facilities should be reported to Campus Services at 2260 from a campus phone or (360) 442-2260 from any other phone. NOTE: Gas leaks and power failures create special hazards. Please refer to the section on Utility Failures for more information.

Do not return to an evacuated building until instructed to do so. Re-entry to the building will be permitted only when Campus Services has received the “All Clear.

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