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Earthquake Procedure
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Signalling an emergency.

An earthquake procedure should start by staff or anyone signalling the beginning of an earthquake by calling out EARTHQUAKE.  It is best to take cover when you are in a building under a table or a doorway and away from glass.

What to do after the signal?

Safety and security is the priority here.  Adults should secure toddlers and infants quickly and take any appropriate action to keep safe.  The ideal thing to do is to take cover under a desk or a table or doorway away from glass.  You should get down in a crouch position on you knees holding any legs of a table if there is one and resting your head on your knees and burying your head between you arms.  If you can not get away from glass then you need to turn away from it to minimise any injury.

Stay calm and remain in place.

Everyone should stay calm and remain in place until the shaking has stopped.  A quick assessment should be made on whether to remain in the building as falling debris and glass is a main cause of casualties.  Usually falling debris and glass are more likely to happen outside of a building than within.  When a decision has been made on whether to move people to evacuate the building remaining in place is a good idea incase of an aftershock.

Outside a building.

Again alarm there is an earthquake.  If you are in immediate danger of any building or other hazards from falling on you remove yourself to somewhere safer  preferably in an open space with no immediate danger.  Stay down until the shaking stops and it is clear to resume to a safer area.

Hazard of Fire

There is always a risk of fire in buildings immdiately following an earthquake from broken gas pipes and dislodged heaters and wiring that now pose a risk of fire.  Here is where it may be a good idea to evacuate to a safer area.


If the decision is made to evacuate a building it is important to move to a safer assembly area where there low risk levels such as an open field area.  Make sure you choose the safest route possible when evacuating.  Identifying hazards such as power lines, falling debris and other hazards is important to helping you keep safe.


Remember that while you may not be enduring an earthquake now while assembling in a safe area there is a very good chance you may feel another earthquake which is what is called an aftershock.  Make sure you are aware and cautious about possible hazards.

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