Today I accomplished a few things around the house I’ve been meaning to do. One of those things was create anchor points so I could use a ratchet strap to secure my 55 gallon drum of potable drinking water in my shed (I got mine at Thrive). The last thing I want is to have the only safe drinking water we have get knocked over during an earthquake and loose everything. Each time I have to put a picture up around the house or move a piece of furniture the first thing I ask myself is how I’m going to properly anchor it. It’s something I try to get all my friends and neighbors to do also. This got me thinking of what I should publish this week in my post. This is a list of things you should keep in mind when living in earthquake country.
•Hang plants in lightweight pots with closed hooks.
•Install strong latches on kitchen cabinets.
•Use flexible connections where gas lines meet appliances.
•Secure valuable electronics items such as computers and televisions.
•Keep breakables in low or secure cabinets with latches.
•Hang mirrors and pictures on closed hooks.
•Keep heavy, unstable objects away from doors and exit routes.
•Place bed away from windows or items that may fall.
•Secure knick knacks and other small valuables with museum putty.
•Brace overhead light fixtures.
•Place only light weight or soft items over bed.
•Secure top-heavy furniture to wall studs.
•Secure water heater with metal straps attached to wall studs.
•Store an ABC-type fire extinguisher in easily accessible location.
•Keep several flashlights in easily accessible places around the house.
•Keep a wrench or turn-off tool in water proof wrap near gas meter and teach everyone how to use it regardless of having an automatic earthquake shutoff valve.
•Know where the water shutoff valve is for your residence, you don’t want post earthquake contaminated water entering your pipe system. In a pinch theres at least 2 gallons of water in your existing pipes.
•Know the location of your main fuse box or circuit breaker.
•Keep slippers and gloves next to beds.
•Have a large pry bar and other demolition tools (sledge hammer, shovel, etc) in an accessible location.
•Keep an emergency backpack with copies of important documents near the door to grab and go (using a scanner and loading it into a thumb drive works great).
•Store emergency food and water supplies in a dry, accessible area. Include a first aid kit, extra cash, portable radio, extra batteries, medications and other necessary supplies.
•Create a meeting spot for your family.
•Make an earthquake kit at home and store it in an accessible location away from your main structure.
•If the Earthquake happens during the day do you have a communication plan if one person is at work?
These are just a few things to keep in mind for your home. I’m sure you can come up with a whole laundry list of things to be better prepared. Remember there are only the prepared and the unprepared. Which do you want to be?