Procedure title: Earthquakes
Effective date: May 2014
Revision date: May 2016


This procedure provides direction to the campus community when responding to an incident or emergency that may threaten the institution’s processes, the safety of its employees and students, or the facility itself.


Southern Ontario is susceptible to a variety conditions and phenomenon that not only affect the safety and security of those on campus, but also play a factor in everyone’s travel arrangements to and from campus.

Earthquakes occur when tectonic plates cause a noticeable movement in the ground. Each year, Canada experiences thousands of small earthquakes, the majority of which are only noticed by the machines that measure them. While Durham Region has yet to experience any major trauma, the possibility exists that a major earthquake could occur.

In case of an earthquake:

  • Drop under heavy furniture such as a table or desk;
  • Cover your head and torso to protect yourself from falling objects;
  • Hold onto the object that you are under to maintain cover; and
  • If you can’t get under something strong, crouch against an interior wall.

After an earthquake:

  • Do not exit the building until it is safe to do so;
  • If there are any damage or injuries, contact security at ext. 2400 or 905.721.3211;
  • Do not use elevators;
  • Stay calm and use common sense; and
  • Co-operate with emergency personnel.

Public Address Announcement (PA)

In the past, the campuses have experienced small earthquakes that last for a very short period of time and are not significant enough to cause personal injury or structural damage to the buildings.  In the event of small earthquakes, Security will acknowledge that such a phenomenon has been reported on campus by way of a public address announcement:

“The campus has just experienced an earthquake.  Please remain in place and continue with normal activities unless directed otherwise.  Security and facilities personnel will immediately assess for damage.  Should any further action be necessary a second announcement will be made.”

In the event of an injury:

In the event an injury occurs as a result of a workplace accident, please contact your immediate supervisor to inform her or him of the incident. Next, you or your supervisor must fill out an Accident/Incident Report Form.

For Durham College employees, the form can be located on the employee intranet, ICE, under Forms, then Human Resources, and Accident, Injury. For more information, please refer to the Durham College Accident Reporting Procedure (EMPL-301.1), also located on ICE.

UOIT employees can access the form through the website. On the homepage, click Faculty and Staff, then Human Resources, then Healthy Workplace, then Accident/Injury Form. For more information, please refer to the Accident Reporting Procedure, which is located on the website.

Authority and responsibilities

The Emergency Management Response Team (EMRT) and the Office of Campus Safety will be responsible for enforcing and communicating these procedures to staff and students.

Faculty, staff, and students will be responsible for taking direction from the appropriate authorities and contributing to a safe and secure environment.


Durham College and UOIT Emergency Preparedness Plan & Policy

Durham College Accident Reporting Procedure EMPL-301.1

Public Safety Canada – Earthquakes in Canada guidelines

UOIT Accident Reporting Procedure