The risk of an earthquake in the Princeton area is relatively low. However, even minor earthquakes can cause damage and lead to injury. Knowing what to do and how to prepare is key to minimizing the potential impact.

How to Prepare:

Knowing what to do and practicing for potential earthquakes will help you act quickly in an actual earthquake.

  • Identify safe spots in your work or living space. Most earthquake injuries occur from falling building materials, heavy furniture or objects from overhead shelves.
  • Identify two exit routes from your building and know where your designated assembly area is located.
  • Know where your emergency supplies are located, if appropriate.
  • Know how to identify what’s happening. An earthquake might begin in a number of ways:
    • A roaring or rumbling sound that gradually grows louder.
    • A rolling sensation that starts out gently and grows violent.
    • A sudden, violent jolt followed by shaking.

What to Do:

  • DROP to your hands and knees.
  • Take COVER under a sturdy desk or table. If there is no shelter nearby, get down near an interior wall or next to low-lying furniture and cover your head and neck with your arms and hands.
  • Stay clear of windows or glass that could shatter.
  • If you are inside, stay inside. Do not run outside. Avoid doorways.
  • If outside, move away from buildings, streetlights and utility wires.

After an Earthquake

  • If you are trapped under debris, tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you.
  • Evacuate the building if there is any suspicion that it may have been structurally damaged. Use extreme caution if it is dark.
  • Report any injuries to the Department of Public Safety at 911 or use a blue light phone tower.
  • Open cabinets cautiously, as contents may have shifted.
  • Clean up spills if trained, or contact the Department of Public Safety at 911 or use a blue light phone tower if assistance is needed.

For More Information

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Earthquake Preparedness Page

Visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Earthquake Page

USGS Drop, Cover, Hold On Image 

USGS Earthquake Hazard Map 

USGS East vs West Coast Earthquakes