Maintain Safe Storage
Most injuries during an earthquake (even a non-catastrophic earthquake)
are caused by falling objects and broken glass. You must be sure that
all heavy equipment and furniture is well fastened to a strong structural
support and that heavy and otherwise hazardous objects are not placed
where they might injure someone if they fell or moved during a quake.
Follow EH&S guidelines for the safe storage of chemicals. Refer to
the College Health and Safety Program manual for more information.
Contact the College Health and Safety Unit if you have questions on
chemical storage. Remember: store by compatibility, not by alphabet!
Equipment and other materials
Evaluate your work area (offices and labs) for the safe storage
of equipment and other material. Large items should not be stored
on upper shelves or on tops of cabinets where they could fall over
in an earthquake. Research equipment that could move during a quake
and result in injury or blocked egress should also be appropriately
fastened. The College Building Manager as well as other members
of the College Health and Safety team are available to assist in
your work site safety evaluation.
Secure Large Equipment or Furniture
It is critical that items that could fall over or move in an earthquake
be appropriately bolted to walls or other sound structures. File cabinets
that are free standing in the middle of your work area can dangerously
block your exit if they fall over in an earthquake. Bookcases or storage
cabinets can also fall over creating exiting or chemical hazards or,
in some cases, can fall on workers causing injury. Contact the College
Building Manager if you would like assistance in assessing potential
earthquake hazards in your area. If you have items that you would
like secured, contact the College shops directly.
It is critical that safe exiting be maintained at all times. Fire
code requires 36" as a minimum width for exit aisles (aisles leading
to an exit) and a minimum of 24" for general work aisles. Nothing
should be placed in these aisles nor should equipment project into
"Duck and Cover"
Inspect your work site for areas where you would be able to "duck
and cover" during an earthquake. Areas under desks or tables work
well so you should avoid storing materials under them that will prevent
your use of the space during an earthquake. Evaluate your work area
for possible problems in the event of a major quake, e.g., do you
have hanging lights or ceiling tiles that could fall? Are you near
a window that could break?, etc.
Maintain a Personal Use Disaster Kit
As indicated in the preface to this appendix, the size of the College
precludes the ability to maintain personal use disaster supplies such
as water, food and first aid kits that could accommodate the entire
College population and its casual visitors in the event of a catastrophic
emergency. It is therefore recommended that units, groups or individuals
maintain some supplies in an area convenient to their work site. The
supplies checklist at the beginning of this appendix lists many items
that should be kept in your home disaster supplies kit. Small kits
made up of water, some food stuffs, prescription medicines and the
like are also recommended for the work site.