Earthquake and Emergency Procedures

Emergency Procedures

Pacific School of Religion has policies and procedures to deal with a major emergency or disaster affecting the campus and surrounding areas. In most cases, PSR's Facilities Department and local community agencies are responsible for responding to emergencies.

Earthquakes and Evacuations

In the event of an earthquake, the school may need to activate the School Disaster Plan, which will override normal administrative activities.

First ascertain your own and immediate family's personal safety; if evacuation of buildings is necessary, students, staff, faculty, guests, and commuters should proceed to the designated Evacuation Site on the quad (the large grassy area between Holbrook Building and the dining hall) and check in.

The disaster plan is located in the janitor's closet next to the outside chapel restroom. The first few people to come to the quad should go directly to the closet and get the briefcase marked EQ PLAN. Designate one responsible person to be the overall coordinator. The overall coordinator's file, if followed, will begin implementation of the plan.

A check-in table will be set up as quickly as possible. Everyone should report to the attendance coordinator at the check-in table. This is important so that everyone can be accounted for. (It will not be necessary to call local police or the fire department as these agencies automatically go into a disaster mode and will coordinate with school officials.)

Please familiarize yourself with recommended earthquake procedures:

During an Earthquake

Earth shaking does not kill you, building collapse and resulting fires do. Injuries and deaths are increased by human panic, so it is imperative that you remain calm.

Remember these eight points:

  1. Stay where you are! Chances of injury increase with movement. Don't run outside. Stay calm; try to calm others. Think before taking action.
  2. If indoors, stay there until the shaking stops. Move to a safe place such as an interior door jamb, under a strong table or desk, or in a corner away from windows.
  3. If outdoors, get into an open area away from trees, buildings, walls, or power lines.
  4. If in a high-rise, move away from windows and outside walls. Do not use the elevators.
  5. If driving, pull over and stop. Avoid overpasses and power lines. Stay inside car until the shaking stops.
  6. Avoid tall buildings and power lines if you are outdoors. Move to an open area. If you are in an automobile, stop driving. Stay in your car. Don't stop where buildings can topple down on you. A car is an excellent shock absorber and will shake violently on its springs during an earthquake, but it is a fairly safe "cocoon" from which to assess your situation. Balconies, parapets, power line walls, towers, overpasses, etc. may fall after the shaking stops. Never assume downed power lines are dead. People, metal, and damp objects are good electrical conductors; stay clear of power lines to avoid shock or serious burns.
  7. If ceiling debris falls on you, assume a crouching position with your back up, head down and shielded by your arms. If you are caught just outside a building, stand under the nearest strong doorway.
  8. Duck, cover, hold — hold onto whatever you are using as cover.

After an Earthquake

  1. After you have taken care of your own and immediate family’s personal safety (items below), go to the Evacuation Site on the quad and report to the Check-In Desk (to verify safety of individuals in the community) then to Team Leaders (identified by the hard hats) who will have been trained and will provide instructions. When checking in, inform people if you have needed skills such as First Aid or CPR.
  2. Check for injuries. Examine yourself first, then others. Don’t move the seriously injured, except away from danger of further injury.
  3. Evacuate the building, quickly and in an orderly way. Help others to evacuate, especially the physically limited.
  4. Do not light flames, or operate electric switches or use the telephone if there is the possibility of a gas leak. If leaking gas is noted, clear the area and notify a Team Leader, Building Manager or Facilities.
  5. Check for broken glass. Be sure you are wearing shoes before moving about. Watch for falling glass from shattered windows.
  6. Don't eat or drink from containers near shattered glass. Be cautious of damaged containers.
  7. Clean up spilled poisons, drugs, and flammable substances.
  8. Check the water supply. If faucets operate, collect a small emergency supply. Remember, water demand may be heavy due to fire fighting requirements, so use it sparingly. Emergency water is available in toilet tanks, ice cubes, canned vegetables, etc.
  9. Refrain from flushing toilets. Sewer lines may be broken.
  10. Check shelves for objects ready to fall.
  11. If telephones are working, make only emergency calls and do not use phones at all if gas is present.
  12. Use automobiles only for emergencies.
  13. Stifle rumors. They tend to add to fear and confusion.
  14. Refrain from sightseeing and discourage others from doing so. Crowds create confusion and hinder the efforts of emergency personnel. Cooperate fully with college and local officials in charge of emergency procedures.

Note: Aftershocks are secondary tremors. Occasionally they do additional damage, mostly from already weakened structures and unstable, precariously located objects.

Before a Quake

  1. Even though PSR has formulated a community response and has limited supplies, you are responsible for preparing for your own safety and the safety of your dependents. Therefore, take time to organize and maintain a supply of emergency food, water, medication, a flashlight, a battery operated radio with extra batteries, and first aid items. (See below for suggested supplies.)
  2. Know what to do in advance. In a crisis, the human mind tends to cease functioning rationally. By knowing exactly what to do in advance, you lessen your chances of being in a helpless daze. You can react immediately and calmly to assist others as well as yourself.
  3. Know where fire extinguishers are in your building.
  4. Identify indoor danger spots: windows, mirrors, hanging objects, fireplaces, and tall unsecured furniture. Don’t hang heavy objects over your bed.
  5. Know the safe spots: inside doorjambs, under sturdy tables and desks, against inside walls. Identify all alternative exit routes.
  6. Keep breakables, heavy objects, flammable substances, hazardous liquids in secure cabinets or on bottom shelves. Don't place heavy bookcases where they might block exits or injure people.
  7. Keep a flashlight close to your bed. Have shoes handy to allow quick exits in spite of broken glass under the bed or on the floor elsewhere.
  8. If children are living with you, teach them what to do to protect themselves in case you're not able to get to them during a quake. Know their school's disaster plan.
  9. Be sure your family members and loved ones know to come to the quad and report to the Check-In Desk.
  10. Keep additional supplies in the trunk of your car.
  11. Fill out Earthquake/Disaster Form and return it to Facilities Department.

Suggested Supplies to Keep On Hand

  • Liquids: One gallon of liquid per person per day, for a minimum of five days.
  • Foods: A five-day supply of non-perishable foods such as canned stew, spaghetti, tuna, fruits, vegetables, peanut butter, dried fruit, granola bars, crackers, etc.
  • For the Car: Snack foods, shoes, bottled water, first aid kit, blanket, flashlight, essential medication, toilet tissue, etc.





Earthquake Safety Links

Here are some useful links that include valuable suggestions on what to put in your household emergency kit, instructions for shutting off gas lines, and tips on emergency preparedness for your pets. A few simple clicks today - and following the recommended steps to plan and prepare - can make a world of difference when an emergency occurs.