10 - Pre-Earthquake/Earthquake Contingency Plan

The scope of contingency and post-event recovery plans is not only to ensure that operations continue after an earthquake by limiting seismic damage but also life safety. Damage to non-structural components can occur even at low levels of seismic shaking, leading potentially to material damage and even fatalities. The lack of warning and short duration of the event mean that it is important to be particularly well-prepared for this natural hazard.


  • Site is in a seismic zone of low magnitude/intensity. Such locations are exposed to events of low intensity/high probability of occurrence. Awareness of a hazard could be low corresponding to the expected level of seismic shaking. Shaking levels as low as MMI VII (Modified Mercalli Intensity) of VII, corresponding to ground accelerations of 0.8 m/sec2 to 1.6 m/sec2 can result in damage to non-structural components.
  • Low awareness of site management to seismic hazard.


  • Guidance for preparation of contingency plans is industry-specific. However, publically-available resources can be found on the internet. A Zurich RiskTopic can be provided to provided general guidelines. This must be tailored to the specific site conditions.
  • Identify structural and non-structural elements, which require strengthening, ie. physical as well as organizational vulnerabilities are to be identified as part of a risk assessment exercise.
  • Define an emergency response team that is responsible for preparation, mitigation and post-event recovery measures.
  • The response plan should also consider that public infrastructure may also be damaged by an earthquake.