Earthquake Safety Tips
Prepare your home for an earthquake with these safety tips:
1. Home maintenance: Bolt bookcases and other tall furniture to the walls to prevent them from falling during an earthquake. Avoid hanging heavy objects like framed pictures above beds. Secure your cabinets with strong latches so they remain closed during a quake.
2. Emergency preparations: Create a disaster plan with your family so everyone knows what to do and how to communicate in the event of an earthquake. Prepare an earthquake kit with non-perishable food, a first aid kit, battery-operated radios and flashlights, dust masks and at least three gallons of water per person. If you have pets, include supplies for them, too. Keep the earthquake kit in a safe, easily accessible place.
3. Important documents: Keep your important financial documents in a safe place where they won’t be lost or destroyed in a quake. Include identifying photos of each of your family members.
4. Run drills: Ensure your family knows quick exit routes from your home or building. Practice the “drop, duck and cover” method for getting to a safe place during an earthquake. Teach your children places to avoid, like windows or doorways. Doorways are no safer than any other place in your home and provide little protection against falling debris.
5. Plan for recovery: Know how to turn off your gas and water mains. Document any damage to your insurance company by taking pictures. Have a Plan B in place in case your original disaster plan falls through.
FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has an Earthquake Safety Checklist that helps families prepare for an earthquake and prevent damages to their homes in the event of an earthquake. You can download a copy of the Earthquake Safety Checklist by clicking here.