This document below contains thing to consider before, during and after an earthquake. It is intended for a school program, but can be easily adapted to a workplace environment. Information in the link posted from www.sccgov.org.
All companies have an obligation to their employees to maintain a disaster plan. An
emergency evacuation area must be designed, a nearby safe area, preferably outdoor,
where workers can get together after a fire or earthquake. It should be out in the open
away from buildings or powerlines. If there is no open space nearby, designate some
other safe place.
Set up a procedure to account for all employees. If there is a register assign some one to
take this with them when evacuating the building.
Identify evacuation routes and alternate routes, and keep them clear of any obstructions.
Plan assistance for people with disabilities, employees, and people who maybe visiting
and conduct drills.
Assign and train teams of employees to handle basic first aid, search and rescue, fire
response, evacuation, damage assessment, and security. Train all employees in
earthquake preparedness and identify safe places at work. Appoint and train wardens to
take leadership in emergencies. Conduct regular evacuation drills.
Office hazards include:
1. Tall Shelves
3. Tall, Heavy Lamps
4. Hanging Plants
5. Heavy Objects on Walls
6. Windows, Air Conditioners / PA Systems
7. Light Fixtures
8. Desks by Windows, etc.
9. Heavy Pictures
10. Gas Stoves
11. Unsecured TV, typewriters, computers. Attach these items to their stands
a. with industrial strength Velcro
b. by bolting them to the stand
c. using a detachable leash attached to the wall
d. tie down with bicycle or bungee elastic card.
12. File cabinets – these will tip over unless they are bolted to the floor.
Bolting them together also increase their stability. Be sure the drawers can
lock when they are closed, because if a drawer slides open during an
earthquake it can injure someone.
13. Ceiling Partions
16. Water Tanks – on roof can affect the load bearing capacity of the roof
causing it to fail.
17. Satellite dish (older version).
In order that your staff knows how to respond during an earthquake, it is essential that
they practice these procedures by conducting earthquake drills until they are second
There are six (6) components to an Earthquake Drill.
These are the Alarm, Response, Evacuation, Assembly, Head Count or Roll Call and
During the alarm stage, those involved in the drill are alerted by a loud warning device.
such as a bell or buzzer. This must be a pre-arranged signal known by everyone, so that
all will respond appropriately.
During the response phase, everyone heads for cover. Persons get under a heavy desk,
table, chair, bed or under a door jamb. Make sure you move away from windows, glass or
light fixtures. If there is not cover available, crouch and try to protect your head.
After remaining in your respective safe-place until the shaking has stopped, persons
should then evacuate the building. The evacuation proceeds through pre-determined safe
routes and evacuees gather outside in a safe area away from buildings, fences, walls,
electricity poles, bridges and trees.
At the assembly point, the evacuees are grouped in order of classrooms, departments or
floors – whichever is more convenient to facilitate the next step, which is roll call.
During the roll call, teachers, floor wardens, or others designated before-hand determine
if everyone is present. In the event of a real earthquake, a search and rescue team would
have to be dispatched to look for those missing.
After the roll call, there should be an evaluation where the institution identifies snags in
the drill, problem areas, or potential problem areas.
Remember that only by practicing will occupants of a building be reasonably sure that in
the event of a serious earthquake they will be able to respond appropriately.
High Rise Buildings
Most of the guidelines for earthquake preparation in other buildings also apply to high
When a high rise building is designed without earthquake protection, the building is
designed to withstand its own weight as well as the weight of the contents, and hold up
against wind. Earthquakes engineering adds other dimensions, because the building must
be able to hold together as it is shaken from side to side and up and down. The roof and
walls are tied together so that the walls do not pull apart and allow the roof to fall. Some
multi-storey buildings have been designed to be flexible while holding together. The
building is designed to sway as a unit in a side to side motion. Without this planned
flexibility, the various elements of a large building would move at different rates,
creating additional stresses within the building that could weaken it to the point of
During large earthquakes, expect windows to break, plaster and suspended ceilings to
fall. If high rise buildings are designed to sway as they should during earthquakes,
unsecured objects will slide around inside, particularly on the upper floors. That is why it
is important to secure the furnishings of a high rise building. Anchoring pieces of
furniture will prevent them from sliding back and forth, even acting as battering rams to
break through windows or walls. Carpets may help reduce this action. Large windows
above the fourth and fifth floor would have guard rails installed on the inside, and/ or
shatter resistant plastic film on the glass.
Tall racks of stored equipment and supplies pose a great danger in an earthquake. Many
warehouses have shelves holding thousands of supplies ten or more feet high. These
shelves should be bolted to the floor and further anchored with steel channel bars to the
upper walls and ceilings. Goods should be stored carefully, with heavier items on the
lower shelves. Removable fences can prevent the item from sliding while providing
access to workers and fork lifts.
Great care should be taken when storing chemicals or other potentially hazardous
material. Avoid glass containers where possible. Drums piled one on top of another are
very dangerous; and should be stored on shelves with fences. Incompatible materials
stored close together could mix in a spill. Chemistry and test laboratories should store
their chemicals by type instead of alphabetically, making sure that each container is
secured – while in use and when stored.
DURING AN EARTHQUAKE
In an office building, the safest place is usually under a desk, protecting you from filing
cabinets, bookshelves and other tall office furniture that could easily fall during an
earthquake. In industrial buildings, with the additional hazards of heavy equipment and
supplies, try to locate safe places in advance.
In a High Rise Building
Tall buildings sway back and forth during earthquakes, so you will need to hold on while
the ground shakes. Again, find the safest place and hold on tight. Take cover under a desk
or table unless it is right by a low window. Turn away from windows. Hold on and move
along with the desk as it slides. Or brace your self in the central hall way or against an
interior wall. If you are in a stairwell, sit down and hold on. Stay out of the elevators. If
you are in an elevator, step out of it if the door is open. Otherwise, use the drop position.
In A Public Place
Stay where you are and assess the situation. In most public places, the best thing to do
during an earthquake is to stay where you are and drop. In a restaurant, get under the
table. In a theatre or stadium drop between the rows of seats.
If you are in a store, shopping mall, or a place where people are standing or walking, stay
still to see what the other people do. If you must move, do so slowly. Try to find a wall or
other protection to lean against. In any emergency in a crowded place, there are dangers
of pushing and trampling, and if the lights are off, the situation will be worse. Try to stay
out of the way of the crowd. Store and other public buildings are required to clearly
identify emergency exits. Train yourself to notice the location of these exits in case you
In the supermarket or other stores, goods are bound to be falling around you during an
earthquake. The worst place to be are near the soft drinks, liquor or the cleaning supplies
because of the danger of broken glass, spilled chemicals and exploding pressurized cans.
If you are pushing a shopping cart, use it for protection. Drop and hold onto the cart.
"Everyone had one thing in common… they all love their kids and were all equally concerned about being prepared for future disaster.”
That was the scenario in Ohio at a disaster preparedness training for fathers as put on by the U.S. Office of the Administration for Children and Families. It was designed in preparing dads for the unexpected. As Father’s Day fast approaches, perhaps it’s time for fathers – and father figures – to sit down and think about what more we can do to help prepare our families for disaster.
...when I think about all I need to do to help my growing family be prepared, it can be a little bit daunting. I want to make sure they have food, water, and shelter if a disaster hits. In fact, there are 12 areas of preparedness that fathers can prepare their family with: water, food, shelter, heat, light, power, sanitation, first aid, communications, cooking, tools, and planning.
Some veggies are great to snack on straight out of the can. Corn is a favorite among both kids and grown-ups. It tastes a little bit like popcorn without all the added butter and salt. Yum!
If you love making smoothies and want some added nutrition, you can throw in some green veggies along with your fruit to make your smoothies even healthier. Our favorite is freeze-dried spinach because spinach spoils so quickly.
Freeze-dried veggies are perfect in soups and stews where they will just rehydrate while the soup cooks. You don't have to purchase and chop up individual items, so it's easy to get a large variety in your meals.
Freeze dried veggies are great for making homemade baby food in a snap. You simply grind up your selected vegetable in a food processor and add water until you get the desired consistency. So much cheaper and healthier than store-bought baby food. The best part is you can keep the powder in your diaper bag and make up only a small amount and not worry about wasting a half bottle of uneaten food while you are out and about.
Do you love eating potatoes but hate peeling, dicing, boiling, mashing them, etc? With freeze dried potatoes you can make hashbrowns, potato salad, funeral potatoes, or even mashed potatoes in just a few minutes. Perfect for a last minute pot luck side dish.
Most people don't realize that you can cook up freeze-dried vegetables and flavor them just like you would regular veggies and use them as a side dish. We've found freeze dried green beans to be very similar to frozen green beans, and much better than canned. Simply rehydrate, heat up, and serve.
If you have picky eaters you may find it hard to get them to eat vegetables. If you stick vegetables in a food processor you can make a nutrient-dense powder that can be sprinkled into lots of main dishes, especially ones with a lot of color and flavor already such as spaghetti sauce. Experiment and see what you can sneakily get your kids to eat!
Any vegetable that needs to be peeled and/or chopped can be replaced with a freeze-dried vegetable and be a huge time-saver. Some of our favorites are onions, celery, and peppers.
Have you ever bought a whole green pepper when you just needed half of one for a recipe? Or had a bunch of celery go bad after you only used 2-3 stalks? With freeze-dried vegetables you can use ONLY what you need to for a recipe and can save money by not having as much waste.
A 7.8 magnitude earthquake centered less than 50 miles from Kathmandu rocked Nepal with devastating force early Saturday, killing at least 688 people -- and probably more -- in Nepal's capital city, authorities said.
The U.S. Geological Survey had at first rated the temblor at 7.5 magnitude but later upgraded the strength. It reported aftershocks of 6.6 and 5.1 magnitude, among many others others. In all, the USGS said, at least 15 aftershocks of magnitude 4.5 or greater had been felt in Nepal so far.
One witness told CNN by phone that people were gathered outdoors in fear. Another said via Facebook that power was out and people were listening for news on their car radios.
"We are scared and waiting for the tremors to end," Shiwani Neupane said on Facebook chat from Kathmandu. "We are all sitting outside because there is more news of another quake.
"There is no power and families are listening to the FM radio inside their cars," Neupane said. "News of multiple building collapses. I've seen many cracked walls and roads and buildings. The Dharara was packed with people a while ago. There are police everywhere trying to move rubble to make space on the roads for ambulances. Everyone is very scared."
The force of the quake was said by people who contacted the USGS to be from "severe" to "violent," nearly the highest rating on the intensity scale. Tremors were felt as far as New Delhi, more than 200 miles away in neighboring India. An official said they were felt there at magnitude 5.0.
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