No one can predict when or where an earthquake will strike, but you can prepare for one before it hits. You can begin with an earthquake preparedness plan and take the steps to practicing a safety drill often.
5 Ways to Prepare for an Earthquake
1) Decrease risk by identifying possible home hazards.
Complete your earthquake plan by identifying and securing the following hazards:
- Secure Tall furniture that could topple, such as bookcases or china cabinets.
- Make sure water heaters are up to earthquake code that could rupture.
- Secure stoves and appliances that could move enough to rupture gas or electrical lines.
- Take down heavy pots that could swing free of hooks.
- Heavy picture frames or other heavy over a bed.
- Latches on kitchen cabinets or other cabinets that will not hold the door closed during shaking.
- Breakables or heavy objects that are kept on high or open shelves.
2) Make sure that your building is properly secured using soft-story retrofit.
Most homes are built upon a foundation and many older properties are held in place simply by their own weight. Your home must be able to withstand tremors if in an earthquake zone. Otherwise, it will wobble, crack, and fall. Also, the walls and roof should be attached strongly to each other.
Look into finding a properly secure building, or consider soft-story retrofit. Soft–story retrofit simply adds to and reinforces the structure of the building so it can hold up much better in an earthquake.
3) Use Flexible Connectors for Gas and Water to Prevent Leaks
Gas leaks can be a greater dangerous than the earthquake itself. Invest in an automatic shut-off device that activates upon breakage of connectors. You can even install a main switch to turn off gas and power supply completely. Same goes with any plumbing-get them repaired as soon as possible.
4) Glass Becomes a Serious Danger During Natural Disasters
Glass is the most fragile item during an earthquake. Pieces of broken glass may cause serious wounds. Prevent this by installing a clear, shatterproof film over glass surfaces. This is an easy fix for if glass does break, it will be held together by the film. Make sure you find quality film that has great reviews, for this could make the difference between saving the glass from flying everywhere, and staying on the film. Look online on Amazon, home improvement sites, or even your local Walmart for glass film. One other benefit is it will keep the UV rays out!
5) Get your home insured against earthquakes.
This step is a very important one! Depending upon what number the quake is, it can cause hundreds of thousands (or more!) of dollars’ worth of damage to a property. This way, your insurance can help you to rebuild your home or buy a new one, without the stress. Search around for insurance companies that carry the option of earthquake insurance addon. you might have to look around alot cause a lot don’t offer it. Rest assured, you will be able to find a company. Be prepared to spend a bit more for this type of insurance though.