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Earthquake Disaster Planning

I’m sure you have all heard about the 6.6 magnitude earthquake that hit Hawaii yesterday. Fortunately, no reported fatalities, but there have been a lot of evacuations and structural damage.

If you are wondering about the risk of earthquakes in your area, click on this site from FEMA. Also, it may be a good time to check your disaster procedures for earthquakes. Here are our response procedures for an earthquake:


  • stay inside the building and immediately take shelter underneath a desk or table, wherever possible.
  • be prepared for further earthquake activity and aftershocks
  • stay away from windows, mirrors, overhead fixtures, filing cabinets, bookcases, and electrical equipment as much as possible
  • once the shaking has stopped, see if anyone in your area is trapped or injured
  • assist anyone who needs help, and assist in the evacuation of the building (see Evacuation Procedure, front of this manual)
  • do not attempt to move seriously injured persons unless they are in obvious, immediate danger (of fire, building collapse, etc.)
  • do not re-enter the building until it has been declared structurally sound
  • check for broken water pipes or shorting electrical circuits. Do not use a match, candle or lighter to find your way, since there may be flammable gas in the air. Turn off all appliances and other electrical equipment. Do NOT walk into areas where there is water on the floor. Standing water can hold an electrical charge from damaged power lines and can cause electrocution.
  • do not use telephones except in emergency. Lines should be kept free for emergency rescue operations
  • ensure that sewage lines are intact before running water or flushing toilets

Map of Earthquake Areas


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