Natural disasters can strike at any time and as we are seeing from Hurricane Florence, almost all of them can change direction and be worse than we could ever imagine. None of us ever know when a true natural disaster will affect us, but it is good to be prepared for as much as we possibly can.
Here are 15 tips for making sure your home is ready for an earthquake:
Strap Items in Place
You may think that the inside of your home is safe enough, but when an earthquake strikes, stuff is going to move. Therefore, you are going to want to strap items like bookshelves, televisions, and microwaves in place, so they do not crush you or your family when the unthinkable happens.
If you have any of your beds near windows, you are going to want to move them immediately. The glass in the window can break instantly during an earthquake and if you were sleeping in it, you would be covered in glass.
Secure Picture Frames
Picture frames can shatter or fly across the room during an earthquake, which is why we recommend attaching them to the walls using earthquake resistant picture hooks and earthquake putty or museum wax.
Check the Structure of Your Home
Foundations on homes can move over time and it may not be as structurally sound as it was when you had it constructed. Bolting your home to its foundation can keep everything in place when an earthquake hits.
Don’t Lose Your Wine
We all love our wine, but none of us is going to be happy if our wine bottles shatter during an earthquake. Protect those bottles by placing them in special wine racks with individual slots and a lip at the end to keep them from falling out. We also recommend keeping them as close to the ground as possible by storing them in wooden boxes if you don’t have the proper wine rack.
Install a Seismic Valve
Gas lines can rupture and catch fire during and after an earthquake but installing a seismic valve will prevent this from happening. The valve is designed to shut off the gas as soon as the shaking begins, so you do not need to worry about that on top of everything else.
Purchase a Few Fire Extinguishers
Fires can still occur during earthquakes, especially if you were cooking when the shaking begins. Having a fire extinguisher in each room will lessen the chances of you losing everything or needing to choose whether to stay inside with the flames or go outside where you can get crushed by anything.
Purchase Emergency Lights
Emergency lights turn on whenever the power goes out, which is helpful if an earthquake strikes in the middle of the night or the early morning hours.
Keep Old Shoes Tied to Something
Since everything gets moved around during an earthquake, you might not be able to find your shoes too easily. If you tie an old pair of shoes to an end table or your bed, you can quickly grab them and walk around without worrying about getting glass shards in the bottom of your feet.
Keep Your Gas Tank Full
We all know that we should keep the gas tank in our vehicles full, yet we never follow that advice. We urge you to begin doing this, as you may be one of the only people with gas after an earthquake.
Continuously Charge Battery Packs
Purchasing battery packs is a great idea, but they won’t be helpful if you do not charge them regularly. You know what we are talking about, right? You purchase them, pack them away, and they are dead when you take them out when you need them. Try to keep up with these batteries by regularly charging them every few weeks.
Have Your Chimney Inspected
You may think that your chimney is solid, but it can shift over time as well. We know that you will prefer to have any issues fixed prior to an earthquake instead of needing to repair your home afterwards because the chimney collapsed onto it.
Purchase Food and Water for 3 Days
You may think that you will have enough to eat and drink after an earthquake strikes, but are you really going to if you lose power and everything goes bad? We recommend purchasing bottled water, canned foods, bread, and peanut butter. Also, don’t forget about food and water for your pets.
Keep Medication on Hand
How often do you wait until you have one or two pills left before you call in for a refill on your prescriptions? We urge you to stop that and start getting your prescriptions as soon as you are able to. This will ensure that you will never need to be without them if an earthquake strikes.
Keep Cash in Your Home
ATMs won’t be working after major earthquakes and the only way you are going to be able to buy anything is if you have some cash readily available. Keep it under your bed, in your freezer, anywhere that you know it will be safe from you spending it.
No one wants to think about all the bad things that can happen, but a little preparedness can make your life easier if and when it does happen.