Earthquake

Standard procedures and description protocols for the office and building if an earthquake occurs.

Procedures for an earthquake:

DO NOT try to exit the building.
 
Find a protected location.
Get under a table or desk, holding onto one of the legs, crouch against an inside corridor or hall, in a corner away from an outside wall, or near a pillar or support system.  The elevator lobby is a good place to be.
 
Stay away from windows and glass.
If being near glass is unavoidable, turn your face away.  Grab anything handy, such as a coat, cushion, pillow, blanket, newspapers or even a cardboard box, to shield your head and face from falling debris and splintering glass. 
 
Beware of falling objects and debris.
Watch out for falling ceiling tiles, plaster and heavy objects which might fall or slide across the floor.
 
Prepare for shaking and swaying.
If you are on one of the top floors, be prepared for possible swaying of the building.  Most of the severe shaking will occur on the lower floors. 
 
Be calm and wait for instructions.
Stay in the building on the same floor and wait in the elevator lobby.  Wait for instructions telling you how and where to make a safe exit.  Don't be surprised if the electricity goes out or if the sprinkler system or fire alarms go on.
 
DO NOT use the elevators.
Even if the power is on, elevators could still be unsafe due to a warp in the shaft which could cause the elevator to stall and you would then be stuck between floors, or the elevator could stop on a floor which is engulfed in flames.  During an earthquake, automatic safety devices will stop the elevator in case of a power failure.
 
DO NOT use the stairwells.
Unless you are certain that there is an exit and that the stairwells are lighted, stairwells should be avoided.  There could be a blockage below, cutting off the exit to the outside, or an aftershock could jam the doors trapping you between floors.  Stairwells are also where people rush to in a time of panic and you could be caught in a mob situation.  We utilize a security system which prevents doors from being opened from inside the stairwell, increasing the possibility of becoming trapped.  Emergency lighting in stairwells might fail in an earthquake, leaving them dark and hazardous.  They may be filled with smoke or hazardous fumes.  Wait for instructions telling you how and where to make a safe exit.
 
DO NOT rush outside.
Even if you are on a ground floor, wait for instructions from Property Management.  If you feel you must exit the building, wait until the shaking stops, choose an exit carefully and then proceed with caution.  Calmly walk out of the building to a safe area outside, away from buildings and overhead wires.