Eastern Michigan University

Environmental Health & Safety

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  • For assistance call 734.487.0799


While the EMU main campus is not at high risk from an earthquake, it is important to be familiar with these procedures in the event you are at an EMU activity, field location, etc. that is in an area susceptible to earthquakes.

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.

Students practicing take cover

If Indoors

  1. 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.
  2. Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.
  3. 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.
  4. Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to evacuate the building.
  5. After the initial shock, evaluate the situation and if emergency help is necessary, call 911 or EMU Public Safety at 734.487.1222.
  6. Damaged facilities should be reported to Physical Plant by calling 734.487.3591.
  7. Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.
  8. DO NOT use the elevators.

After any evacuation, report to your Designated Meeting Area. Stay there until an accurate head count is taken. The Building Administrator or his/her designated officer will take roll call and assist in the accounting for all building occupants.

If Outdoors

  1. Remain outdoors.
  2. Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.
  3. 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

  1. Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.
  2. Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that might have been damaged by the earthquake.


  • Expect aftershocks. These secondary shock waves are usually less violent than the main quake but can be strong enough to do additional damage to weakened structures and can occur in the first hours, days, weeks, or even months after the quake.
  • Listen to a battery-operated radio or television. Listen for the latest emergency information.  
  • Open cabinets cautiously. Beware of objects that can fall off shelves.  
  • Stay away from damaged areas. Stay away unless your assistance has been specifically requested by police, fire, or relief organizations. Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
  • Help injured or trapped persons. Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance such as infants, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Give first aid where appropriate. Do not move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Call for help.