In many buildings, the greatest danger to people in an earthquake is when equipment and non-structural elements such as ceilings, partitions, windows and lighting fixture shake loose.Inspect your facility for any item that could fall, spill, break or move during anearthquake and take steps to reduce these hazards. Hang heavy items away fromwhere people work, secure fixed equipment and heavy machinery to the floor, andsecure shelves, filing cabinets, desktop equipment, light fixtures, and tall furniture.Assess your organization’s vulnerability to earthquakes and ask local governmentagencies for seismic information for your area.Ask your insurance carrier about earthquake insurance and mitigation techniques.Establish procedures to determine whether an evacuation is necessary after anearthquake. Designate areas in the facility away from exterior walls and windows where occupantsshould gather after an earthquake if an evacuation is not necessary.Conduct earthquake drills and provide your personnel with general safety information.
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Page 19of 31In an earthquake, if indoors, stay there. Take cover under a sturdy piece of furnitureor counter, or brace yourself against an inside wall. Protect your head and neck. If outdoors, move into the open, away from buildings, street lights and utility wires. After an earthquake, stay away from windows, skylights and items that could fall. Do notuse the elevators.Use stairways to leave the building if it is determined that a building evacuation isnecessary.FireFires are one of the most common of all the hazards. Every year fires cause thousands ofdeaths and injuries and billions of dollars in property damage. Consider the following whendeveloping your plan:Meet with the fire department to talk about the community’s fire response capabilities.Talk about your operations. Identify processes and materials that could cause or fuel afire, or contaminate the environment in a fire.Have your facility inspected for fire hazards. Ask about fire codes and regulations.Ask your insurance carrier to recommend fire prevention and protection measures. Yourcarrier may also offer training.Distribute fire safety information to employees and volunteers: how to prevent fires inthe workplace, how to contain a fire, how to evacuate the facility, where to report a fire. Instruct personnel to use the stairs — not elevators — in a fire. Instruct them to crawl ontheir hands and knees when escaping a hot or smoke-filled area.Conduct evacuation drills. Post maps of evacuation routes in prominent places. Keepevacuation routes, including stairways and doorways, clear of debris.Assign fire wardens for each area to monitor shutdown and evacuation procedures.
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