OPB Oregon Megaquake information


If you feel an earthquake:

  1. Protect yourself (Drop, Cover and Hold-on). Evacuate the building as soon as you deem it safe.
    • Stay away from glass
    • Do not use a doorway unless you know it is a load-bearing doorway
    • Do not exit the building while shaking is going on. Falling debris can kill you
    • Do not use elevators
    • Do not pull fire alarm
  1. If outside during the shaking, move away from buildings or other objects that could fall
  1. Bring only items you can easily grab, including backpacks especially packed with emergency gear, coat, hat, phone, essentials (e.g. handbag).


  • Do not re-enter a building until it has been seismically inspected
  • Expect aftershocks and more building damage to occur
  • Extinguish small fires
  • Follow OSU guidance for follow-on activities.


  • Secure, or ask Facility Operations (WCC 737-2969) to secure, items in your office or work area that would be a hazard in an earthquake (e.g. bookcases, water coolers, etc..)
  • Identify safe spots in each room to Drop, Cover, and Hold
  • Participate in earthquake drills
  • Conduct off-site data backup of essential information


Preparation tips for workplace emergency evacuation:

  • Think through your evacuation scenario from different parts of the campus or your commute and be familiar with the tsunami evacuation route map
  • Frequently review the earthquake Emergency Action Plan and the DO NOTs noted
  • Have a backpack ready with emergency gear; see for details. Routinely store (if practical) your coat, hat, phone, and essentials (e.g. handbag) where they can be accessed easily.
  • Be prepared, but also be mentally prepared to leave everything behind if not readily accessible. Timely evacuation is a higher priority than emergency supplies or personal items.
  • Prepare a communication plan for your family. Keep in mind that your home may not be structurally sound.
  • Preprogram essential phone numbers and alerts into cell phones and other devices
  • Develop a habit of noting your whereabouts outside your door (e.g. gone for the day; on leave until Thursday). This will prevent others from looking for you unnecessarily.

Work Neighborhoods:

  • Staff members are encouraged to communicate with individuals along their hallway or section of the building. Self-designated ‘work neighborhoods’ may be formed on a voluntary basis (e.g. west wing, east wing).
  • Meet with your ‘neighbors’ to talk through evacuation. Focus especially on the first few minutes after the shaking stops.
  • Some topics to discuss are checking on neighbors, grabbing gear for neighbors if they are not in their offices; drilling as a group; designating a meeting spot; what to do about injured/trapped coworkers; recording your whereabouts regularly outside your door; keeping contact #’s for the group in your backpack.
  • Respect, but note, individuals’ wishes (e.g. to opt out of the group, or to meet up with family members instead)


  • Impress upon your employees that regardless of how slight the shaking might seem, they are expected to evacuate when it is safe to do so in case of any earthquake.
  • Brief visitors including students and others working at [College/School/Department name]
  • Encourage employees to consider evacuation routes when planning and implementing field research.
  • Be prepared to contact staff in the event of a tsunami or other evacuation in the absence of warning signs (e.g. shaking).

All Personnel:

  • Remember you have 15 min or less to reach a tsunami assembly area.
  • DO NOT go back to your office or spend time packing; grab your emergency gear ONLY if it is handy. Evacuate to higher ground immediately.
  • DO NOT wait for an official warning. Evacuate even if the shaking is slight.
  • DO NOT re-enter buildings. You will not have time, and they may be unstable.
  • DO NOT return to the campus until an “all clear” from local officials has been issued; beware of unfounded rumors of an all-clear.
  • OSU Bridge Training: