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If you are indoors:

  • Drop to the floor under a sturdy desk or table
  • Cover your head and face with your arms
  • Hold on
  • Stay calm
  • If suitable furniture is NOT nearby, sit on the floor against an interior wall and cover your head and face with your arms.
  • Stay clear of windows, bookcases, shelves, mirrors and fireplaces.
  • Do not use elevators.
  • If possible, extinguish any open flames or sources of ignition immediately.

If you are outdoors:

  • Get into an open area away from trees, buildings, walls and power lines.
  • If driving, pull over to the side of the road, stop, and stay inside the vehicle until the shaking is over.
  • Avoid overpasses, bridges, and power lines.
  • If the earthquake has been severe, do not attempt to cross damaged bridges, overpasses or sections of road.

After the Earthquake

  • Check for injuries, starting with yourself. Do not move seriously injured individuals unless they are in immediate danger. Help people who are trapped by furniture or other items that do not require heavy tools to move. Rescue and emergency medical crews may not be readily available.

  • Keep phone lines open. Do not use the telephone except for genuine emergency calls, such as a serious injury, fire or gas leak.

  • If you suspect or know that someone is trapped in the building call the USI Public Safety or, if the phone lines are out, have one person go to the Public Safety Office. Have someone post a message at the front of the building noting the time, date, number of victims and their last known location in the building.

  • Check for gas and water leaks, broken electrical wiring, and broken sewage lines in your area. Check building for cracks and damage. If there is gas leaking, extinguish all sources of ignition and do not turn on or off any electrical switches in the area. Call USI Facility Operations and Planning (812-464-1729 or ext. 1729) or USI Public Safety (812-492-7777 or ext. 7777) for assistance immediately. If there is damage, report it to the Facility Operations and Public Safety. Attempt to block off damaged areas to keep people away from the hazard until additional help can arrive.

  • Do not touch downed power lines or damaged building equipment.

  • Check for hazardous materials spills and releases. If any are discovered, follow the procedures in this guide.

  • If the building is damaged, evacuate and attempt to secure the building against entry. Notify Public Safety and Facility Operations of the damage and evacuation. Do not re-enter damaged buildings.

  • If you have to evacuate to predetermined Evacuation area, post a message in clear view stating where you can be found. List reunion points so that others looking for you later can find you. If you have a university pager, radio or cellular phone, take them with you along with batteries and chargers if available. This may be your only method of communication for several hours.

  • Turn on a battery powered radio for damage reports and information. Monitor credible news sources for information and official University instructions (Rave Alerts, USI homepage) as they become available.

  • Do not use your vehicle unless there is an emergency. Keep the streets clear for emergency vehicles. Be prepared for aftershocks.

  • Aftershocks are usually less intense than the main quake but may be large enough to cause additional damage to structures weakened during earthquakes.