In addition to having food, water, pet, and other supplies set up, it’s time to work on making your home as safe as possible. Please note: These suggestions range from easy DIY projects to those requiring the help of professionals. As with all our tips, do what you can!
Less costly or intensive preparations for an earthquake include:
- Moving large and/or heavy items lower to the ground, where they are less likely to fall.
- Securing smaller objects with museum putty.
- Making sure that latches on doors, cabinets, or closets are secure so they will not easily swing open during an earthquake and allow things to fall out. Safety locks, such as those used to childproof cabinets, are effective for earthquake proofing as well.
- Keeping areas in which you spend lots of time free of objects that may fall. Avoid putting ceramic bowls on open shelves in the kitchen, for instance. And be sure that pictures framed with glass are not hanging over chairs and couches in the living room or a bed.
- Securing large furniture (such as shelves and wardrobes) with wall studs.
- Being especially sure that heavy objects (such as shelves) can’t fall and block your escape routes in the event of an earthquake. You can either secure them to the wall or place them in another area.
- Hanging pictures or mirrors with closed studs.
- Placing a smoke alarm in every room.
More costly and resource-intensive earthquake-proofing tasks include:
- Securing tvs and computers with metal straps.
- Securing overhead light features (may require the assistance of a professional).
- Securing water heater with metal straps.
- Making sure that gas lines have flexible connections to appliances (may require assistance of professional to install).
Learn how to shut utilities such as water, electricity, and gas.
Don’t turn off the gas unless you can smell it. If nothing appears wrong then leave it on. If you turn it off unnecessarily, you will be without heat, fuel, and hot water until the gas company can turn it back on for you.
For more information, please see:
Earthquake Country Alliance: Secure Your Space
FEMA: Protect Your Property