Preparing Your Home For An Earthquake

 

If you’ve just moved to California (or anywhere on the West Coast) for the first time, you have probably been warned many, many times about the dangers of earthquakes. It can be frightening to move to an earthquake hot spot, especially if you have never experienced one before. However, many buildings have been upgraded to withstand heavy shaking, and there are plenty of things you can do now to ensure that you and your family will remain safe in the event of an earthquake.

Prepare and Retrofit Your Home

You’ll want to start your earthquake preparedness process by securing your items as best as you can, so they withstand the shaking.

  • Fasten and secure heavy shelves and bookcases to the walls and floor.
  • Place heavier items on lower shelves.
  • Do not place art or mirrors above beds, couches, or chairs, as they can fall on an area where people who are sitting or lying down do not have time to move.
  • Install flexible pipe fittings, as these are more resistant to breakage.
  • Hold regular earthquake drills with your family so you are fully prepared and know what to do should an earthquake hit while you are at home.

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In The Event Of An Earthquake

When an earthquake hits while you are in your home, follow these tips.

  • Drop, cover, and hold on. Choose a sturdy table or bed to crawl under for protection.
  • Move as little as possible.
  • Move away from windows.
  • Protect your head.

Even when the shaking stops, stay in your protected position for an extra ten seconds, in case of aftershocks.

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