San Francisco is in a seismically active area and it is important to avoid panic when an earthquake occurs. (Source: SFSU DPS Earthquake Emergency Information Bulletin)
Before an earthquake hits
- Become familiar with exit routes and location of emergency equipment.
- Reorganize storage so heavy items are not stored overhead.
- Secure shelving units greater than 5 feet – especially if they are next to an exit or behind a desk as they could hinder your ability to evacuate if they fall.
- Chemicals should be secured behind closed cabinet doors or by shelf lips or guard wire or rails.
During an earthquake
- Keep calm and look for cover away from windows and glass doors.
- Do not use the elevators
- Do not exit the building until the shaking stops
- After the shaking stops, think of a way out and check for potential hazards.
- When safe, evacuate to an open area and take your personal belongings with you. You may not be able to re-enter later.
- Use the telephone only in an emergency to call 911 or (415) 338-7200.
- Expect aftershocks
After the shaking stops
- Do not return to an evacuated building unless it is cleared by police.
- Do not enter the parking structure until cleared by officials.
- Do not use the telephone unless it a real emergency.
- Avoid beaches and waterfront areas where seismic waves (tsunamis) could strike
In a widespread emergency, the University Disaster Plan will take effect.
An alarm sounds when a pull station is activated, the system detects smoke, or a public safety emergency requires a mass evacuation. Treat all alarms as an emergency. Try to avoid unhelpful questions like “Is this a drill?” or “How long will this take?”.
Responding to the building evacuation alarm
- Stay calm and leave the building through the nearest safe exit
- Take the stairs not the elevator.
- Don’t wait for the elevator. The system is designed to bring elevators down to the main floor until they are reactivated by Plant Operations staff.
- Gather in an open space and wait for instructions. Look for members of the COSE Evacuation Team possessing a two-way radio at building entrances.
- After hours, go to the main entrance of the building you are in and wait for emergency personnel. Main entrances for TH-and HH are on the 3rd floor patio, and for SCI it is near room 107 or along 19th Avenue.
- Re-enter the building only when emergency personnel say it is safe to do so.
Assisting persons with disabilities
- Station wheelchair users by one of the stairwells and ask a volunteer to wait with them.
- Inform the person monitoring an exit that a disabled person is still in the building so he or she can notify campus police.
- Don’t evacuate wheel chair users unless ordered to do so by the police or fire departments or in case of immediate danger.
- Note that evacuation chairs are available in each building for emergency personnel to use: SCI 142 (Engineering copy room); SCI 276 (History office); TH 808 (Chemistry meeting room).
Until the extent of the emergency is known, wheelchair users should wait by one of the outer stairwells until people are allowed back in the building or emergency professionals evacuate them.