Eastern Michigan University
Environmental Health & Safety
An earthquake is a sudden, rapid shaking of the ground caused by the breaking and shifting of rock beneath the earth's surface. This shaking can cause buildings and bridges to collapse; disrupt gas, electric, and phone service; and sometimes trigger landslides, flash floods and fires. While not common in Michigan, earthquakes can occur at any time of the year. Use the following procedures to assist in responding to an earthquake.
- 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 isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.
- Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.
- Use a doorway for shelter only if it is in close proximity to you and if you know it is a strongly supported, load bearing doorway.
- Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to evacuate the building.
- After the initial shock, evaluate the situation and if emergency help is necessary, call 911 or EMU Public Safety at 734.487.1222.
- Damaged facilities should be reported to Physical Plant by calling 734.487.3591.
- Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.
- DO NOT use the elevators.
- Remain outdoors.
- 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 near exterior walls.
If In A Vehicle
- Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.
- Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that might have been damaged by the earthquake.