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Prepare Your Home for an Earthquake

Prepare Your Home for an Earthquake! Chances are good that you and your family may be at home when an earthquake hits.  One of the most important things to consider is to prepare your home so that it becomes a safe haven and not a danger zone when an earthquake hits.  With just some simple planning you can feel more secure in the knowledge that your home will be a safer place for your family. Another huge concern is having your home retrofitted for an earthquake – that means properly securing  your home to its foundation. Have a trusted retrofit company or contractor go under your house and take pictures of what you already have to see if your home is properly secured.

You should start by going from room to room to identify the potential hazards of each.  Remember that most anything can move during and after an earthquake.  One important consideration is breaking glass.  Windows can become a real problem during an earthquake and so placement of beds and furniture should be carefully considered.  Anchor large bookcases, cabinets, refrigerators, water heaters and any furniture that may tip over and cause injury.  You can find kits to help with this project in your local hardware store.

Other large objects to consider are things like fireplaces, chimneys, freestanding stoves and heating or air conditioning units.  These types of objects may require that you employ a professional.  Chances are that if you live in an area prone to earthquakes that there are contractors who can carefully assess the best way to secure these items.

If you decide to do some of the work yourself a trip to the hardware store will be in order.  There you’ll find flexible cable braided wire, straps, large screws and kits that you can use to secure large appliances or furniture.  Remember that the danger of a gas stove, water heater or any gas appliance falling over or moving can cause the gas line to break and cause a fire in your home. And, you will absolutely need a proper wrench to turn off your gas is you smell a gas leak.

In the bathroom you will be able to solve a lot of the problems by simply replacing any glass containers with plastic.

Look for overhead light fixtures in any room and secure them.  Look for heavy mirrors or hanging framed art above beds, chairs or sofas and move them.  If you don’t want to move them or can’t then make certain that they are properly anchored so as not to cause injury. Most of these items can be secured by screwing them to wall studs.

If you have hanging lamps or plants or any items that may fall or swing into a window consider finding it a new home.  This can mean a move of a few inches and probably won’t ruin the look of your room but may save you or a family member from injury or worse.

There are lots of other areas and items for us to consider and we’ll cover them in another session so please come back for more tips! Remember that these are projects that can include the entire family and you can make it a fun project!

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