What to Do: During an Earthquake

If you feel the ground shake, take the following precautions immediately:

  • DUCK - When the shaking first starts: DUCK or drop to the floor.
  • COVER - Take COVER under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture. If there is nothing available to take cover under, crouch against an interior wall and protect your head and neck with your arms. Stay away from windows, hanging objects, mirrors or anything that might fall over.
  • HOLD - If seeking cover under a piece of furniture, HOLD on to it and be prepared to move with it during the quake.

What to Do: By Location

  • High-rise building - Stay near an interior wall. Do not use the elevators.
  • Outdoors - Remain outdoors. Move to a clear area, away from trees, signs, buildings, or downed electrical wires and poles.
  • Walking along the street - Duck into a doorway to protect yourself from falling bricks, glass, plaster and other debris.
  • In your car - Pull over to the side of the road and stop. Avoid overpasses, power lines, and other hazards. STAY INSIDE THE VEHICLE UNTIL THE SHAKING IS OVER.
  • In a mall or other public place - Do not rush for the exits. DO NOT PANIC. Move away from anything that might fall.
  • In the kitchen - Move away from the refrigerator, stove, and overhead cupboards.
  • In a stadium or theater - Stay in your seat and protect your head with your arms. DO NOT try and leave until the shaking is over.

Remember: If you are outside, remain outside. If you are inside, remain inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to exit. Do not attempt to re-enter a building until it has been determined safe to do so by the appropriate authorities.

More Information



  • On-Campus: Appalachian Police (828-262-8000) or 911
  • Off-Campus: 911