Earthquake preparedness must be addressed since the possibility of an earthquake occurring on the New Madrid Fault in southeast Missouri is a possibility. The greatest problem in considering this matter is the lack of a warning, which we usually have with tornado's or other storms. For this reason, it is crucial to have a plan of action.
- The best plan begins with preparation. All areas of the University should regularly do a hazard search, and report problems that need correction. Such a search should identify large items of furniture (files, bookcases, cabinets, etc.) that need to be fastened to a wall to keep them from falling on someone during a tremor.
- When not in use, all cabinet doors should be latched to secure the contents.
- Heavy items, especially breakable, should not be stored on upper shelves. This is particularly true of chemicals. If different chemicals spill and mix, very hazardous conditions could result.
Should an earthquake occur, the recommended procedure is:
- Take cover under a desk, table, or other large object. If none are available, stand in a doorway or get against an inside wall.
- Stay away from windows, bookcases, large cabinets, mirrors, and large hanging wall objects.
- If you are inside, stay there.
- Do not use elevators.
When the shaking stops.
- Check for injuries and call 9-911 as needed.
- Be aware that the 911 system may be overwhelmed.
- Do not use the telephone unless it is necessary. Leave it open for emergency calls.
- Check for hazards around your area, particularly gas, electric, and/or water line damage, and report any problems to the Facilities Department.
- If you suspect a gas leak, do not use electrical switches as these can trigger an explosion.
- Prepare to evacuate using same procedure as for fire or any other emergency.
- Be prepared for aftershocks.
- Try to avoid panic and reinforce others who are depending on you.