Living in Southern California means that earthquakes can and WILL strike at any time without warning- day or night. There is no way around it, and they can cause catastrophic damage. That is why it is so important to make sure that you are prepared for when the next one hits. There are steps that you can take right now to help limit the risk of damage or injury to yourself, your loved ones, and your home during an earthquake. Last year I completed an 8 week CERT class and now I am feeling like I need a refresher!
Prepare Your Home
- Bolt and brace water heaters and gas appliances to wall studs. Have a professional install flexible fittings to avoid gas or water leaks.
- Do not hang heavy items, such as pictures and mirrors, near beds, couches and anywhere people sleep or sit.
- Learn how to shut off the gas valves in your home and keep a wrench handy for that purpose.
- Anchor overhead lighting fixtures to joists.
- Anchor top-heavy, tall and freestanding furniture such as bookcases, china cabinets to wall studs to keep these from toppling over.
- Ask about home repair and strengthening tips for exterior features, such as porches, decks, sliding glass doors, canopies, carports and garage doors.
- Have a professional make sure your home is securely anchored to its foundation, as well as strengthening tips for exterior features, such as porches, decks, sliding glass doors, canopies, carports and garage doors.
- Remember- Doorways are no stronger than any other part of a structure so don’t rely on them for protection!
Have Emergency Kits (and dont forget your pets!)
- Keep items in an accessible place and store them in sturdy containers so that they can be carried easily.
- Remember- If it’s not safe for you to stay in your home during an emergency, it’s not safe for your pets either!
Your pet’s kit should include:
- Sturdy leashes, harnesses and/or carriers to transport pets safely and ensure that they can’t escape.
- Food, drinking water, bowls, cat litter/pan and a manual can opener if you pet eats canned food.
- Medications and copies of medical records stored in a waterproof container.
- A first aid kit.
- Current photos of you with your pet(s) in case they get lost. Since many pets look alike, this will help to eliminate mistaken identity and confusion.
- Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to foster or board your pets.
- Pet beds and toys, if easily transportable.
The LA Times Published this great info-graphic about earthquake preparations: