What to Do When... There's an Earthquake

What to Do When...According to the United States Geological Survey, around 500,000 earthquakes occur worldwide each year. You should prepare not only your home but your business as well. Below we've outlined the steps to take before, during and after an earthquake.

Before an Earthquake

  • Minimize potential hazards.
    • Move heavy items onto lower shelves.
    • Lock file cabinets when not in use.
    • Back up business-critical files.
    • Store backup files off-site.
  • Create and regularly test your disaster plan. Your plan should have provisions for:
    • Employees
    • Customers
    • Vendors
    • Critical equipment
    • Recovery locations
  • Prepare a disaster kit, which should include:
    • A three-day emergency supply of food and water
    • Medical supplies, including employee medications
    • Flashlights (don’t forget the batteries!)
    • A portable AM/FM radio

During an Earthquake

  • Drop underneath a sturdy desk or table. If there is not a desk or table nearby, move to an internal wall, and drop to the floor. 
  • Cover your head and neck. Stay clear of windows or objects that could fall and harm you. 
  • Hold on to the furniture as it moves, and stay put until the earthquake and any aftershock have ended.

    After an Earthquake

    • Account for all employees.
    • Address staff injuries. For those severely injured, contact 911.
    • When safe, inspect both the exterior and interior of the building for damages.
    • Communicate with employees, customers and vendors to let them know the status of your business.
    • Perform a detailed assessment to determine next steps to continue your business operations.

    For more information on preparing your business for an earthquake, read 7 Steps to an Earthquake Resilient Business.

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