Action to Take: First and foremost, stay calm. Think through the consequences of any action you take. If you are inside, stay inside. If you are outdoors, stay there. In earthquakes, most injuries occur as people are entering or leaving buildings.
If you are Indoors: Take cover under a heavy desk, table, or bench - or along an inside wall. Tuck you head between your knees and protect your head with your arms. Watch for falling objects. Stay away from glass. Don’t use candles, matches, or other open flames during or after the tremor because of possible gas leaks.
If you are Outside: Move away from buildings and utility wires. The greatest danger from falling debris is just outside doorways and close to outer walls. Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops.
If in a Moving Car: Stop as quickly as safety permits, but stay in the vehicle. A car may jiggle violently on its springs, but it is a good place to stay until the shaking stops. When you drive on, watch for hazards created by the earthquake, such as fallen or falling objects, downed electric wires, or broken or undermined roadways.
During an earthquake, the advice on the link is based on guidance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The full text of that guidance is available online at http://www.ready.gov/earthquakes
After an earthquake, there is a possibility of aftershocks. The advice on the link is based on guidance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Floods and Hurricanes
Hurricanes are the most powerful natural force on the earth. Often spawned in the warm tropical areas of the ocean, hurricanes may travel hundreds of miles and survive for 30 days or more. These powerful storms may produce significant rainfall, thunderstorms, tornadoes, and dangerous winds, all of which intensify as you approach the eye.
As the hurricane approaches land, the force of the storm’s wind push the ocean waters into a large ridge called a storm surge. The storm surge can easily add 10 or more feet to the ocean’s depths. Wave heights may reach as much as 25 feet or higher in more intense storms. The storm contains enormous destructive power with the potential to destroy structures, cause flooding, and even alter the coastal landscape itself.
Hurricane Preparations: http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes
- Issue a notice to all personnel that a hurricane may be approaching.
- Evaluate the benefit of moving valuable equipment into an interior location.
During the Storm:
- Monitor television and radio broadcasts for storm updates.
- Remain indoors during the hurricane.
- Take shelter in an interior room where structural supports are the strongest.
Snow and Ice
Severe winter storms often involve heavy snow, strong winds, ice, and freezing rain. Heavy ice and snow can also cause structural damage and power outages.
- A Winter Storm Watch means that severe winter weather is possible.
- A Winter Storm Warning means that severe weather is anticipated.
- A Blizzard Warning means that severe winter weather with sustained winds in excess of 35 mph is expected.
- A Traveler’s Advisory means that severe winter conditions may make driving difficult, dangerous, or impossible.
Listen to NOAA Weather Radio and local radio and television stations for updated weather information.
Sidewalks and parking areas may become extremely slippery. Use extreme caution while walking. Never run. Follow pathways that are clear and have had a deicer applied. Use handrails when available.
Tornado Warning: By definition, a tornado warning is an alert by the National Weather Service confirming a tornado sighting and location. The Weather Service will announce the approximate time of detection and direction of movement. Winds will be 75 mph or greater.
Public Warning: A public warning will be broadcast over the Alert Monitor System from the Office of Emergency Preparedness. You are requested to respond to the information received via this system to avoid taking the incorrect action.
Action to Take: Get away from the perimeter of the building and exterior glass. Leave your exterior office and close the door. Go to the center corridor of the building – this is the main corridor. Sit down in corridor and protect yourself by putting your head as close to your lap as possible, or kneel protecting your head. Make every effort to remain calm and encourage those around you to do likewise. Do not attempt to evacuate the building unless you are instructed to do so via the emergency communications system.
If you are in transit in the building: Take stairwell to basement for shelter – do not use the elevators. Do not go to the street level or leave the building.
If you are caught in an outside office: Seek protection under a desk as far away from the glass as possible.