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Step 2: Examine the Surrounding Site for Geotechnical Hazards

Geotechnical hazards are conditions which affect the supporting soils around and under buildings. Geotechnical haZards may be off-campus. The school district should be contacted for any geotechnical hazard information related to the campus. If geotechnical hazards are known to exist, this information should be added to the school's emergency preparedness plan so inspectors will know to look for these conditions.

  1. Look for cracks, bulged ground and vertical ground movements in the area (see Figure 3).
  2. Examine hillside areas, above and below the site, for landslide displacement or debris encroaching onto the site (see Figure 3).
  3. Remember that geotechnical hazards can extend over an area of several buildings or sites.
  4. When geotechnical hazards are suspected, a detailed evaluation must be made by a geotechnical engineer or geologist before a decision can be made about reoccupying the building.

Figure 3 - Inspection points for some geotechnical hazards


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School Earthquake Preparedness Guide - State of Arkansas
Arkansas Office of Emergency Services, 1993