An earthquake is the sudden, rapid shaking of the earth, caused by the breaking and shifting of underground rock. Earthquakes can cause buildings to collapse and cause heavy items to fall, resulting in injuries and property damage. Earthquakes can happen anywhere, without warning, cause fires and damage roads; and cause landslides.


Teal background with white text providing immediate actions to take during an earthquake

DROP to your hands and knees.

COVER your head and neck with your arms.

HOLD ON to any sturdy furniture.


SECURE ITEMS. Televisions and objects that hang on walls. Store heavy and breakable objects on low shelves.

PRACTICE DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON. Drop to your hands and knees. Cover your head and neck with your arms. Crawl only as far as needed to reach cover from falling materials. Hold on to any sturdy furniture until the shaking stops.

CREATE A PLAN. A family emergency communications plan that has an out-of-area contact. Plan where to meet if you get separated.

HAVE A READY KIT. Make a supply kit that includes food and water, a flashlight, and a whistle. Consider each person’s specific needs, including medication. Do not forget the needs of pets, if applicable. Have extra batteries and charging devices for phones and other critical equipment.


DROP, COVER, and HOLD ON.  Drop to your hands and knees. Cover your head and neck with your arms. Hold on to any sturdy furniture until the shaking stops. Crawl only if you can reach better cover without going through an area with more debris

If in bed.  Stay there and cover your head and neck with a pillow.

If inside a building.  Stay there until the shaking stops. DO NOT run outside.

If in a vehicle.  Stop in a clear area that is away from buildings, trees, overpasses, underpasses, or utility wires.

If you are in a high-rise building.  Expect fire alarms and sprinklers to go off. Do not use elevators.

If near the canal or river.  Move away from the edge of the water source and be alert of landslides.

If you are in the university tunnels system. Stop, drop, and cover near the wall.



CHECK YOURSELF FOR INJURY.  Provide assistance to others if you have training.

IF IN A DAMAGED BUILDING OR IN THE TUNNELS SYSTEM. Go outside and quickly move away from the building.


IF YOU ARE TRAPPED. Cover your mouth. Send a text, bang on a pipe or wall, or use a whistle instead of shouting so that rescuers can locate you.

SAVE PHONE CALLS FOR EMERGENCIES. Once safe, monitor local news reports via battery-operated radio, TV, social media, and cell phone text alerts for emergency information and instructions.