The scary truth about earthquakes is that they can happen at any time of the day or night with little or no warning. USGS.gov’s statistics reported a total of 3,836 earthquakes in the US and 16,667 earthquakes worldwide during 2012 alone.
One common misconception is that earthquakes only happen on the west coast. In reality, 42 states throughout the US are at moderate to high risks for earthquakes on any given day (USGS.org).
It is impossible to predict ahead of time where and when an earthquake will occur, which makes it even more important for you and your family to be prepared ahead of time.
BEFORE AN EARTHQUAKE
1) Have an emergency kit for each family member with 3 days worth of food and water.
2) Fasten all shelves, book cases and furniture to walls securely so they can not fall over and brace overhead lighting and fixtures.
3) Have a flashlight in every room in the house in case power lines are taken down or an earthquake strikes at night.
4) Create and communicate your family plan with all household members.
5) Move and store all breakable items (like wine bottles, candle holders, china etc) in low cabinets with doors and latches.
6) Locate the “safe spots” in your house like sturdy tables against a wall.
7) Secure all big appliances to the floor (fridge, washer and dryer, furnace etc.)
8) Repair any defective wiring to avoid fire dangers and fix any leaks. Locate your shut-off valve for gas or have an automatic shut-off valve put in that is triggered by an earthquake.
9) Install flexible pipe for water and gas. This helps to avoid leaks and makes your pipes more resistant to breaking.
10) Make necessary repairs to any deep cracks in walls, ceilings and foundations. If you suspect any structural issues or defects, seek expert advice.
Have any other suggestions or ideas for prepping yourself and your house for an earthquake? Let us know below.
Check out our next blog that focuses on what to do if you find yourself caught in an earthquake.