Top 3 Ways to Prepare Your University for an Earthquake

The best earthquake preparation for your campus is proactive planning and anticipation of the potential impact of various earthquake magnitudes in your region. Three important steps for every university to consider while planning are as follows:

  1. Develop an Emergency Management Plan. A detailed plan of the step-by-step procedures for identifying and handling an earthquake will eliminate guesswork and last-minute pressure to make important decisions. Involve all areas of university operations while developing a plan that is comprehensive and attends to the needs of the entire university and surrounding community.
  2. Evaluate potential areas of weakness or danger. Address structural weaknesses, operational challenges, and other dangerous scenarios ahead of time. Develop a plan to address these hurdles in the short-term and help mitigate the potential damage to university property, personal property and human welfare. Involve professionals, such as structural engineers, to help accurately determine building safety on all parts of campus.
  3. Educate the entire campus community on how to best respond to an earthquake. Clearly communicating the earthquake response procedures to staff, faculty and students can help condition a desired response should an earthquake occur. Drills and earthquake-specific actions can help the entire campus community react in a manner that minimizes injuries and potentially saves lives.

Because natural disasters come in all different shapes and sizes, it is best to follow the mentality that “it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when” for all planning efforts. Ensuring you have a preparedness plan intact for your campus will improve safety, minimize injuries and help clarify the roles of support personnel during the response period.