Pasadena City College, Home of the PCC Lancers


Plan Ahead:

Learn basic first aid and know how to properly use a fire extinguisher. Keep an emergency kit in the trunk of your car. The kit should include first aid supplies, flashlight with extra batteries, extra personal supplies (medications, glasses, etc.), sturdy shoes, jacket or sweater, blanket, and water.

Establish an out-of-area contact for all your family members. Long distance lines do not go down from too many calls or phones falling off the hook. In addition, long distance lines are usually the first lines returned to service after an earthquake disruption.

In Offices:

  • Brace or rearrange furniture to minimize falling hazards. Bolt furniture (e.g., bookcases, cabinets) over 42 inches tall to prevent toppling. If bracing is not feasible, move tall furniture away from exits.
  • Do not use tall bookcases or cabinets as room dividers.
  • Do not stack bookcases or file cabinets.
  • Keep books on shelves with restraint bars or cords.
  • Place large or heavy items on lower shelves or on the floor.
  • Do not put heavy items or full boxes on tall furniture.
  • Do not put heavy frames, mirrors or bookshelves over your workspace.
  • Securely anchor your computer, monitor, and printer to the desk or workstation.
  • Back up your computer(s) frequently. Keep the CDs, DVDs or thumb drives at a separate location.
  • Keep irreplaceable books or items off-campus. Store copies of course notes off-campus.

In Labs:

  • Secure as much of your equipment as possible. Keep an up-to-date chemical inventory in your laboratory and with EH&S.
  • Install restraint bars on chemical shelving and positive latching devices on cabinet doors.
  • Close sliding doors when not in use.
  • Restrain gas cylinders to the wall or lab bench with chains # and # the way up the gas cylinder.
  • Anchor electronic equipment with specialized fasteners.
  • Secure stills with straps and install refrigerator clasp locks.
  • Anchor animal containers. If they are on shelves, bolt the shelves to the wall.
  • Segregate acids, bases and solvents from one another.
  • Provide secondary containment for chemicals.
  • Do not keep any potentially hazardous materials on mobile carts.


  1. When a quake starts, DROP down on the floor and take COVER under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture. HOLD on to it and be prepared to move with it. Hold the position until the ground stops shaking and it is safe to move. If you are seated in a lecture hall drop between the rows of classroom seats. DO NOT rush for the exit.
  2. If you are in a hallway, drop to the floor and cover your head and neck. If you stand in a doorway, brace yourself against the frame and watch out for a swinging door and other debris. A doorway should only be used if it is in close proximity and is a strongly supported load-bearing doorway. If no cover is near, duck and cover near an interior wall or corner of the building.
  3. Keep away from overhead fixtures, windows and bookshelves that may fall over.
  4. Stay indoors until the shaking has stopped. Most injuries during earthquakes occur when people are hit by falling debris when entering or exiting buildings.
  5. Check yourself and others for injuries. Treat only life-threatening injuries immediately, leave minor injuries until after you have checked for secondary hazards. Give first aid and protect injured from aftershocks. Injured who can walk should be helped to the first aid station, which will be set up at the north end of the quad in the event of a major earthquake.
  6. Check your immediate work area for secondary hazards (fires, spills, gas leaks, etc.). Eliminate them if you can, otherwise contain them by closing doors. Put out small fires with fire extinguishers. Shut off gas and electricity to appliances, hot plates, etc. If you smell gas or hear a hissing sound - open windows and leave the building immediately. Alert Facilities Services or PCC Police.
  7. Do not use candles, lighters or matches! There may be gas present.
  8. Do not smoke inside the building and be extremely careful where you smoke outside. Flammable materials may have been spilled during the main shock, and an aftershock may cause you to drop your cigarette.
  9. Check your telephone. Make sure each phone is on its receiver. Do not use telephones except for genuine emergency calls.
  10. Report serious casualties and hazards and the location of any trapped people to you Facilities, and/or PCC Police or call 911. If necessary, send someone for assistance.
  11. Do not use elevator under any circumstances.
  12. If you are trapped, use a flashlight, whistle, or tap on a pipe or wall to signal your position. Avoid kicking up dust. Shout as a last resort. Shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.
  13. In the event of a major disaster, one can call PCC Police and Safety Services, receive information from Alert U or go to the PCC website at
  14. Expect aftershocks.
  15. Outdoors:

    Move quickly away from building, utility poles, and structures. The safest place to be is in the open. CAUTION: always avoid power or utility lines as they may be energized. If in an automobile, pull over and stop as quickly as safety permits, preferably an open area away from overpasses, buildings, power lines, and trees. Stay in the vehicle.