Be ready, prepare your house

There are many things families and individuals can do to prepare for an earthquake, including the following:

  • Install latches on cupboard doors to prevent them from opening during a quake.
  • Use non-skid shelf liners for kitchen and bathroom cupboards, medicine cabinets, and closet shelves.
  • Store heavy items or glassware in lower cabinets so they do not become dangerous projectiles.
  • Update home insurance policies to adequately cover building costs, possession replacement, and injury deductibles.
  • Secure large appliances such as refrigerators, water heaters, air conditioners, and other bulky items with straps, bolts, and other stabilizing methods.
  • Be sure both old and new buildings meet earthquake construction requirements.
  • Do not put heavy artwork, mirrors, or shelves over beds.
  • Firmly secure bookcases, artwork, mounted televisions and other objects to withstand as much shaking as possible.
  • Take clear photos of valuables as a record for insurance purposes.
  • Prepare an earthquake emergency kit with non-perishable food, bottled water, copies of important documents (birth certificates, prescriptions, insurance papers, etc.), flashlights, first aid materials, blankets, spare glasses, and other essential items and store it where it will be easily accessible in case of a quake.
  • Keep cell phones charged and replace emergency kit supplies as necessary to keep them usable.
  • Plan alternative commuting routes in case an earthquake damages roads.
  • Set up a family meeting location in a safe area.
  • Teach all family members basic first aid, how to behave during a quake, and what to do after a quake.

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