While the office building is structurally designed to minimize earthquake damage, it is wise for all occupants to be well prepared as well as keenly aware of the earthquake emergency procedures.
The following supplies will be necessary to protect and sustain your employees in the event of an earthquake:
- Food. Stock your office with non-perishable and easy-to-store food products such as dehydrated foods and food bars.
- Water. Keep at least a three-day supply of purified water. It is recommended that you stock two quarts of water per day, per employee.
- Emergency Lighting. Flashlights, flares, light sticks.
- Batteries. Keep a fresh supply
- Medical. Keep a well-stocked First Aid Kit. Choose kits designed to treat earthquake- related injuries such as heavy bleeding, shock and broken bones.
- Blankets. Lightweight fire and shock retardant emergency blankets.
- Radios. Portable transistor radios with extra batteries and two-way radios.
- Fire Extinguisher.
- Medications. Persons on medication should keep a 72-hour supply in their desk.
Additional supplies to consider:
- Heavy Work Gloves
- Hard Hats and Goggles
- Work Shoes
- Shovels, Crowbars
- Catalytic Heater
- Dust Masks
- Chemical Toilets, Waste Bags, Lime
- Water Purification Tablets
- Sleeping Bags and Cots
- Portable Stove
- Eating Utensils
- Instant Icepack
- Pre-moistened Towelettes During an Earthquake
While Earthquake Emergency Procedures are similar to those of a fire, one specific difference should be communicated to all building occupants: evacuation during fire is highly probable, whereas evacuation during an earthquake is not probable.
Please adhere to the following safety procedures during an earthquake:
- Take shelter away from windows and seek protection under tables, desks, or other objects that offer shelter from flying glass and debris.
- Do not leave the sheltered area or exit the building until the quake is over. Seek safety where you are and leave calmly afterward if evacuation is necessary.
- Do not dash for exits - stairwells may be unsafe.
- Never attempt to use elevators during an earthquake. Afterwards, do not use elevators until they are checked for safety.
- Stay clear of bookcases, file cabinets, windows and other heavy objects.
- Turn off electrical equipment. Do not be surprised if electricity goes off or alarm systems are activated.
- Do not smoke or use matches in case of gas leaks. If power fails, use battery operated lights.
If You Are Outside of the Building When An Earthquake Occurs
- Move away from buildings, utility wires and poles, debris, and areas subject to falling glass.
- If you are unable to reach a clear area, stand in a doorway or archway.
- If threatened by falling debris, cover face with one forearm and the back of the head with the other.
- The most dangerous place to be is on a sidewalk subject to falling debris such as glass and masonry.
After an Earthquake
- Check for injured persons. Do not attempt to move a seriously injured person unless they are in immediate danger.
- Do not use matches, candles, or other open flames.
- Do not turn on electrical switches or appliances.
- Inspect your area for damage. Check for fire. Check utilities for gas and water leaks or electrical shorts. Stay clear of wires that are shorting out.
- If you smell gas, open all windows. Evacuate the building if possible and report the leak to the Fire Department first, if possible, and then Building Management.
- Clean up any dangerous spills.
- Replace telephone receivers to restore communications. However, do not use telephones, except to reach Management Office or the Fire Department.
- Listen to the radio for emergency reports.
- Do not spread false rumors regarding the condition of the building or anything else that may cause panic.
- Cooperate with Management personnel and Fire Department representatives.
- Be prepared and stay alert for aftershocks.
Checklist for Business Survival Following an Earthquake:
Businesses face many hurdles in recovering from earthquakes. A key to survival is looking ahead and planning for recovery before an earthquake strikes. The following checklist identifies areas that can reduce the impact of an earthquake by enabling your company to continue normal business operations.
- Make agreements with vendors and suppliers to assure continued business or identify alternate sources in the event your normal vendors are unable to function after an earthquake.
- Develop and maintain inventories for critical supplies, equipment, and employee skills.
- Develop a plan for informing clients, the general public and the media about company operations following an earthquake.
- Store duplicates of vital company records and important documents off-site.
- Take steps to "quake-proof" your computer facility and equipment.
- Establish contracts with engineers and suppliers to survey damage and perform clean up following an earthquake.
- Develop a plan for business restoration including securing alternate work-sites for personnel, restoring damaged utility systems, and controlling access to company facilities.
- Develop alternate marketing strategies for your products or for moving into other markets under post-earthquake conditions.
- Create post-earthquake financing and investment strategies to protect corporate assets.
- Make sure your bank is informed about your disaster contingency planning to assure quick response to your post-earthquake needs.
- Review existing inter-company mutual aid agreements to establish what needs might be following an earthquake.