Message to the RIT community regarding earthquake preparedness

RIT Global Risk Management Services offers precautions to follow in the event of a strong earthquake

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TO: RIT community
FROM: Lynn B. Daley, director of business continuity, RIT Global Risk Management Services

As many of you may have felt, our region experienced a tremor at approximately 1:45 p.m. today. The U.S. Geological Survey indicates that an area near Ottawa, Canada, was the center of a 5.0 magnitude earthquake. Local media outlets are covering the story and are providing continuing updates.

There is no need to be overly concerned at this time. Should the area experience a stronger tremor, use the following as a guide (from FEMA):

Stay as safe as possible during an earthquake. Be aware that some earthquakes are actually foreshocks and a larger earthquake might occur. Minimize your movements to a few steps to secure your safety. If you are indoors, stay there until the shaking has stopped and you are sure exiting is safe.

If indoors:

DROP to the ground; take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and HOLD ON until the shaking stops. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.

Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.

Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.

Use a doorway for shelter only if it is in close proximity to you and if you know it is a strongly supported, loadbearing doorway.

Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Research has shown that most injuries occur when people inside buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave.

Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.

DO NOT use the elevators.

If outdoors:

Stay there.

Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.

Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops. The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings, at exits and alongside exterior walls.

Many of the 120 fatalities from the 1933 Long Beach earthquake occurred when people ran outside of buildings only to be killed by falling debris from collapsing walls. Ground movement during an earthquake is seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass and falling objects.

If in a moving vehicle:

Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses and utility wires.

Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges or ramps that might have been damaged by the earthquake.

Lynn B. Daley
Director of Business Continuity
Global Risk Management Services
Rochester Institute of Technology