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Earthquakes

Idaho is a semi-active earthquake zone. Any action taken before, during, and immediately following an earthquake might mean the difference between life and death.

In Case of Emergency Follow These Steps

Before the Tremor

Most casualties result from a partial building collapse or falling objects and debris (e.g., toppling chimneys, falling bricks, ceiling plaster, and light fixtures). Take steps beforehand to inspect your home and office for any potential hazards.

  1. Secure fixtures such as lights, cabinets, bookcases, and top-heavy objects to resist moving, coming loose, or falling during a tremor. 
  2. Place large, heavy objects on lower shelves.  
  3. Securely fasten shelves and bookcases to walls.  
  4. Remove hazardous objects from above sleeping areas. 
  5. Do not hang plants in heavy pots and might swing free of a hook. 
  6. Store bottled goods, glass, and other breakables in low or closed cabinets, using nonskid padded mats, hold-fast putty, or Velcro whenever possible.  
  7. Conduct emergency drills so each department member knows what to do during an earthquake.
  8. Prepare an office or home emergency kit

During a Tremor

  1. Don’t panic. Though the motion is frightening, stay calm unless something falls on you. Tremors are relatively harmless.  
  2. If you are indoors, stay indoors. Get under a desk, door frame, table or bench. If you cannot get under a sturdy object, stand against an inside wall.  
  3. Stay away from glass. 
  4. Do not use candles, matches, or other open flames during or after the tremor. Douse all fires. 
  5. Do not be surprised if the electricity goes out. 
  6. If you are outside, move away from buildings and utility wires. Once you’re in an open area, stay there until the shaking stops. 
  7. Do not run through or near buildings. The greatest danger from falling debris is just outside doorways and close to outer walls. 
  8. If you’re in a vehicle, stop as safety permits. Stay in the vehicle. The car will move a great deal, but it is a relatively safe place to be. 

After a Tremor

  1. Check for injuries. Do not attempt to move seriously injured people unless they are in immediate danger of a life-threatening injury. 
  2. If the building is severely damaged, leave it immediately.  
  3. Do not turn on utilities, including light switches.  
  4. Do not use any type of open flame for lighting purposes.
  5. If you smell gas, open windows and leave the building. Do not re-enter buildings until officials say it's safe. 
  6. Do not use telephones except to report an emergency. 
  7. Contact your supervisor (if available) for further instructions.  

General Instructions

  1. Do not go sightseeing to view damage after an earthquake.  
  2. Watch or listen for updates by phone or on the radio. Use a transistor radio to receive updated emergency bulletins.  
  3. Do not use the telephone except to report medical or fire emergencies, safety hazards, or violent crime emergencies.  
  4. Keep streets clear for emergency vehicles. 
  5. Be prepared for aftershocks. Most of these are smaller than the main earthquake, but some may be large enough to do additional damage.  
  6. Cooperate with public safety officials. Do not go into damaged areas unless your help is requested. 

Other Hazards

Additional hazards exist at the university due to a number of chemicals and gas lines in laboratories and other facilities. Leave the area immediately if chemical containers are broken or if gas lines or tanks are ruptured.

In case of severe damage or loss of life, the Campus Emergency Coordination Team will implement emergency procedures as soon as possible. The director will coordinate all campus operations and activities. Housing, food, medical care, and other emergency provisions will be made as needed.