Earthquake & tsunami

Katmandu Earthquake
Nepal April 2015

While the Victoria region is a great place to live, we are susceptible to major earthquakes that could strike at any time. Do you know what to do before, during and after an earthquake? Are you ready to "Drop, Cover and Hold On?" The instructions below outline response procedures for what to do when the shaking starts and after it stops. Tsunamis can occur after a large earthquake, and areas near the ocean may be affected. View this map to confirm where the tsunami hazard zone is.

When the shaking starts

  • If you are inside, immediately drop, cover & hold on under a table or desk, or against an inside wall (not in a doorway) until the shaking stops.
  • If you are outside, go to an open area – stay away from buildings, power lines, trees or other potential hazards. Drop, cover and hold on until the shaking stops.
  • If you are in a car, stop the vehicle and stay where you are – avoid bridges, overpasses and power lines that could collapse. 

What's next (after the shaking stops)

  • Strong aftershocks can continue for some time after the initial earthquake. Prepare to drop, cover and hold on again at any time.
  • Check yourself for injuries.
  • Once several minutes have passed without aftershocks cautiously assess your surroundings. If there is damage to your building (e.g. fallen ceiling tiles, broken lights or glass, wall or foundation cracking), carefully evacuate.
  • Assist others who need help or report locations of people requiring assistance to a building or floor emergency coordinator. If help is required, contact Campus Security at 250-721-7599 or by sending a runner.
  • Do NOT use telephones except to report emergencies. Minimize your use of telephone to prevent overloading the system.
  • Do NOT pull the fire alarm unless there is a fire.
  • UVic is not in a tsunami hazard zone but if you are in a part of the region that is susceptible, move to higher ground.