You never know when an earthquake will strike. Being prepared is the best protection against the dangers of an earthquake. Here are some earthquake preparedness tips that you can do to protect yourself, your family and your property if an earthquake occurs.
- Start by preparing a family emergency plan and then putting together an emergency kit (covered in a previous post).
- Locate safe places around the house, such as, under a sturdy table or against an inside wall. Reinforce these spots during earthquake drills with your family members. Children and adults learn by “doing”, not by “being told”. Drills are essential to ensure proper action is taken when you are under duress.
- Fasten shelves and heavy items such as pictures and mirrors securely to walls and away from beds, couches and anywhere people sit.
- Place large or heavy objects on lower shelves.
- Store chemicals, flammable products and breakable items such as bottled foods, glass, and china in low, closed cabinets with latches.
- Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections now. These are potential fire risks. Get appropriate professional help.
- Secure your water heater, refrigerator, furnace and gas appliances by strapping them to the wall studs and bolting to the floor.
- If recommended by your gas company, have an automatic gas shut-off valve installed that is triggered by strong vibrations. If not, every adult member of the family should know how and where to shut off gas and water in the event of a destructive earthquake. Help may be hours or days away – you must be prepared to take action yourself!