During an Earthquake


Drop to the floor, avoiding any falling objects or toppling furniture.


Take cover under a desk, table or other sturdy piece of furniture. If no such furniture is present, seek cover against an interior wall while protecting your head with your arms. Avoid windows, hanging objects, mirrors and tall furniture.


If you take cover under furniture, hold on tight and be prepared to move with it. Do not release until the ground stops shaking.

  • Do not run outside.
  • Do not go to a doorway. (Doorways are no safer than other spaces, and a swinging door can cause injury).
  • In a hallway, drop near an interior wall away from windows. Protect the back of your head/neck with your arms.
  • If driving, pull to the side of the road and come to a stop. Stay in the car.
  • In an auditorium, drop to the ground between the seats. Protect the back of your head/neck with your arms.
  • Outdoors, move away from buildings to an open area; avoid power lines.
  • In bed, stay there, and protect your head with a pillow.

When the Shaking Stops

  • Check for injuries to people in the area.
  • Call for medical assistance and render first aid if required.
  • Check the area for hazards such as building damage, fires or gas leaks. If the building appears to be unsafe, leave the building and report any urgent problem.
  • Listen to a battery-operated radio for emergency information.

Earthquake Aftermath

  • Be prepared for aftershocks.
  • Wear sturdy shoes to avoid injury from broken glass.
  • Do not use elevators.
  • Do not use telephones except in a serious emergency.
  • Assist others in the area.
  • Report injuries or damage to the nearest emergency response team or to the USC Department of Public Safety.
  • Evacuate the building. Do not re-enter until it has been assessed for damage and deemed safe by inspectors.

While evacuating, observe the following procedures:

  • Turn off all electrical equipment.
  • Bring emergency supplies and purses/wallets with you.
  • Do not leave anyone behind. Assist those with disabilities
  • Close all doors behind you.
  • Use the stairs only. Never take the elevator.
  • Assemble in a safe outdoor area.
  • Cooperate with emergency response teams.

All members of the university community should remain on campus until road conditions are known. For up-to-date emergency information, tune in to radio station KNX 1070 AM, check regularly the USC homepage and monitor your mobile device for TrojansAlerts.