Social Media is blowing up with post about the rash of large earthquakes most of us have experienced lately. Last I checked, we have had 7 today alone. One thing I have not seen is how to prepare you home and loved ones for these now daily occurrences.
So, next time you are out running errands, be thinking about items on this list to gather. Next time you sit down with your family, take a moment to talk about these steps:
Before a quake:
- Have earthquake supplies on hand, including enough food (good options are canned water-packed meats; high protein breakfast or granola bars; canned or dried fruit; and canned or powdered milk), water (1 gallon per person per day) and paper products for supplies for at least 72 hours; medications you might need and personal hygiene kits; pet food; baby supplies; heavy boots and layers of extra clothing; blankets, sleeping bags; freshly stocked first-aid kit; flashlights; portable radio.
- Move beds away from windows and glass skylights, which could shatter.
- Remove or brace heavy pictures or shelves hanging above beds.
- Secure top heavy furniture, bookcases or china cabinets to studs in walls.
- Place emergency power failure lights in hallways, bathrooms and bedrooms.
- Secure cabinet doors with latches.
- Attach any heavy objects suspended from the ceiling to studs.
- Secure your water heater to the wall with a thick metal strap.
- Consult a structural engineer to make sure that your home is bolted to the foundation and that the structure is properly reinforced.
- Consult with an engineer on the adequacy of your chimney.
- Designate a person outside your area as a message center.
- Have a family earthquake plan for clarity on who will pick up the kids, who’s in charge of pets, and where you’ll meet after a quake.
- Make sure you have adequate insurance coverage.
Sources: The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the American Red Cross
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