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Earthquakes occur without warning. Some earthquakes are instantaneous tremors and others are significant sustained events followed by aftershocks. Once a significant earthquake begins, building occupants must take immediate individual emergency action DROP! COVER! HOLD ON! Additional actions will be implemented after the quake stops.

When a significant earthquake occurs, occupants should immediately DROP! COVER! HOLD ON! Suggested locations inside buildings that provide cover include:

  • Getting under a desk or heavy table and hold on.
  • Move into a hallway or stand against an inside wall.
  • Stay away from glass, bookshelves and wall hangings.

NOTE: Do not seek cover under laboratory tables or benches, chemicals could spill and harm personnel. 

Once the shaking has stopped, gather valuables and quickly leave the building. Doors may be jammed, so exiting through another means may be necessary. DO NOT USE ELEVATORS. Avoid downed utility lines, trees, bridges or any structure that could fall. Evacuate to the building assembly area(s) (See Appendix C). Assist any person with functional needs. 

Be prepared for aftershocks. Although smaller than the main shock, aftershocks cause additional damage and may bring weakened structures down. Aftershocks can occur in the first hours, days, weeks, or even months after the quake. Follow the same procedures as for earthquakes. 

In a major emergency, self-reporting by those not on campus is critical to getting accurate accountability at the campus level.  All students, faculty, and staff should report if they are safe at The UT System Reconnect website, UTHSC PD, Rave Guardian app, or through departmental call trees.

May 26, 2022