When it comes down to securing your home or business against the fury of mother nature preparation will always be instrumental in your success. Being unprepared is an altogether too common folly when it comes to surviving the elements with one’s self and property intact. Fortunately there are some simple precautions that you can take to be better prepared for the unexpected. Here we’ll look into some of the potential risks and dangers of earthquakes and some feasible solutions to make sure that you, your family, and your property can stay safe.
One of the first steps in terms of prevention is to secure various items around your house that could be hazardous in case of an earthquake. This will not only prevent heavy objects from falling and injuring someone but may also curb the destruction of your property. Some common things to consider are television sets, computers, unstrapped water heaters, furniture, and bookcases. There’s no definitive guide on the matter so the best approach is simply to secure everything that can be secured. Additionally you want to keep heavy objects as low to the ground as possible.
Another important part of preparation is making a plan for such emergencies. Take some time with your family to discuss some of the important details for emergency situations. Make sure that you and your family have an evacuation plan, a safe meeting place, an out of state contact, and know where to find the emergency supplies. Be sure to be thorough and cover any additional information that may be pertinent to your family’s safety. If possible prepare a disaster kit with some food, water, medical supplies, and some form of outside communication.
One of the biggest dangers during an earthquake is poor quality home construction. While it’s probably not in the budget to build a new house there are some important details you can investigate to check the structural integrity of your home. If possible consult a contractor or engineer to make sure that your home’s cripple walls are reinforced and your foundation is adequate. Additional things to look for are soft first stories, unreinforced masonry, and vulnerable pipes. This is probably one of the most important steps in preventing harm to you, your family, or your home during an earthquake.
Lastly, in the event of a major earthquake there are a few simple steps to take that can increase your chances of escaping serious injury. The basic protocol for earthquakes is drop, cover, and hold on. This means get on the floor, find something sturdy to take cover under (desk or table) and hold on. Be wary once the shaking stops because there will likely be an aftershock which can sometimes be even stronger than the first earthquake.