Earthquakes are not disasters caused by weather, but rather by the movement of the earth’s crusts along the plate margins. The trembling of the earth felt during an earthquake is due to the up heaving of land masses when the pressure build-up releases and seismic waves occur. Unlike other types of natural disasters, earthquakes strike suddenly and without warning. Nevertheless, if you live in an area at risk for earthquakes, there are things that you can do to reduce the chances that you or other members of your household will be injured, that your property will be damaged, or that your home life will be unduly disrupted by an earthquake.
Things inside your home can be as or more dangerous and damage-prone than the structure itself. Any unsecured objects that can move, break, or fall as an earthquake shakes your home are potential safety hazards and potential property losses. First, look around your house and see where there are large or heavy objects that can fall over (such as bookshelves) or fall down (such as a paintings). Pay particular attention to tall, heavy, or expensive objects such as bookcases, home electronics, appliances (including water heaters), and items hanging from walls or ceilings. Secure these items with flexible fasteners, such as nylon straps, or with closed hooks, or by relocating them away from beds and seating, to lower shelves, or to cabinets with latched doors.
The following are also things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your property in the event of an earthquake:
- As with any disaster preparation plan, be sure to have a Disaster Preparation Kit pre-organized in the event that you need to evacuate.
- Locate safe spots in your house, for example under a sturdy table or against an inside wall.
- Consult with an architectural expert to see if your home is structurally sound to withstand an earthquake. Some homes can be retrofitted to better withstand earthquake damage.
- Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections. Make sure to get appropriate professional help.
- Install flexible pipefittings to avoid gas or water leaks.
For more information, please visit www.FirstProtector.com.