Earthquake Preparedness: Part Three

Your family plan (PDF, 1.9MB) and kit are done. Last step is ensuring your home is seismically secure.

Strap it down

Be ready for significant horizontal movement during an earthquake. That kind of side-to-side motion will turn your bookcases into weapons of mass destruction. Secure tall and heavy furniture to wall studs using "L"brackets, corner straps or earthquake straps.

The same rule applies to major appliances, such as freezers, washers, dryers and refrigerators. A fully stocked fridge is not something you want flying around your kitchen.

Bare walls are fashionably safe

Earthquakes have a tendency to knock pictures and mirrors off walls. It's a good idea to remove them from around beds, cribs, couches and chairs.

Avoid kitchen chaos

To prevent cabinet doors from flying open, secure them with either a push or pull latch. This will prevent the unpleasant experience of plates whizzing by your head.

Save the TV!

Show your television a little love and protect your family. Make sure it's on your secured list, since it can cause serious injury if it topples over or flies off the wall.

Don't forget the hot water tank

Strapping your hot water tank to the wall will help prevent the gas line from breaking and ensure you have an extra source of water. For added insurance, contact a licensed gas fitter to install a flexible gas line. 

Partners in Crime

Our Friends at Total Prepare in California have great how-tos on seismically securing your home, including this step-by-step video on strapping a bookcase to the wall.

Easy as 1, 2, 3 ...