Be prepared if an earthquake strikes


On Aug. 23, a magnitude 5.8 earthquake took the Virginia area by surprise. Should such an event happen in Nashville, Vanderbilt Emergency Preparedness and Planning has some simple tips to help the campus community be as safe as possible.

People who are indoors during a quake are urged to stay away from windows and avoid using elevators or standing in doorways. Most earthquake injuries result from collapsing walls, flying glass and falling objects.

The best way to endure the actual quake is to take cover underneath a sturdy piece of furniture and hold on until the shaking stops.

If you are outside, be sure to stay away from structures, power lines and other hazards that could collapse. Balance is not assured during an earthquake, so it is suggested that people crouch low to the ground or lie down.

Once the shaking stops, check those around you for injuries but don’t move an injured person unless they are in immediate danger. Report any missing persons to the building manager or other contact persons. Try not to use the telephone except for urgent matters.

Tennessee is one of seven states that could be impacted if there was an earthquake on the New Madrid Fault Line, which stretches to the southwest from New Madrid, Mo.

More information about Vanderbilt emergency procedures during earthquakes is available at the Emergency Preparedness and Planning website.