Provided by the NCESD Workers' Compensation Trust

Earthquake Preparedness

Earthquakes can strike suddenly and without warning. Knowing what to do before, during and after an earthquake can reduce the chances that those who attend or work in schools will be injured by broken glass, flying debris or unsecured items.


  • Keep a current class list & student absences in a safe, easily accessible location.
  • Prepare and maintain an emergency "Go Kit".

  • Teach students what to do during and after an earthquake.

  • Develop and drill/practice special procedures to help those with special needs.

  • Conduct hazard assessments periodically to ensure items are properly secured so they won't fall over, causing injuries, blocking an exit, starting a fire, etc.


If inside the building:

  • Drop, Cover and Hold On... until the shaking completely stops.

  • If you have difficulty getting on the floor: Get as low as possible and cover your face, head and neck.

  • For those in wheelchairs: Lock the wheels, stay seated and cover your face, head and neck with your arms, a pillow, book or anything else that is available.

  • If cover is not available: Drop down by an interior weight bearing wall.

  • Stay away from windows, light fixtures, and suspended or unsecured heavy objects.

If outside the building:

  • Move away from buildings, trees, and wires.
  • Drop down to the ground & protect your face/head/neck until the shaking stops.
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  • Follow procedures for:

    • Student/staff accounting, including reporting missing or unaccounted persons.

    • Administering first aid as needed.

  • Calm/reassure frightened students.
  • Evacuate immediately if instructed to do so or if the safety of students or staff is threatened!
    • Take your class list and "Go Kit" with emergency supplies.
    • Use the Buddy System: Partner with another teach or assign 2 responsible monitors to lead the way while you bring up the rear to ensure every stays together.
    • Remind students of the rules: Don't talk! Don't push! Don't run! Don't turn back!
    • Watch for hazards, i.e., broken glass, dangling lights or wires, ceiling struts, slippery floors, etc.
    • Do NOT use any elevators.
  • Be prepared for aftershocks... and to Drop, Cover and Hold On again!
  • Once you are out, do NOT re-enter the building until notified it is safe to do so.

Participate in earthquake drills...

How you train & drill can significantly impact to how you’ll respond & your chances of surviving a real emergency!

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North Central ESD Workers' Compensation Trust

Providing Risk Management Services to Reduce On-The-Job Injuries