Sunday, September 18, 2011

Assessing Your Home for Earthquake Readiness


  It was my plan to have this blog closely approximate the material on my show "Rational Preparedness".  I had planned to use the blog for information which supplements information given during the program and lists links and books that you might not have been able to catch quite so quickly.
      However, this week with the abundance of aftershocks here in Virginia, and with many earthquakes elsewhere, I feel the need to at least begin to disseminate information on Earthquake Preparedness. It is possible that anywhere in the United States and almost anywhere in the world could experience an earthquake, so even if you believe that you reside in a seismically quiet region, there are some things you should know, and possibly some actions you should take.  Remember that the good people of rural Louisa County, Virginia did not believe that they were in a seismically active area before the 5.8 earthquake which damaged their relatively young brick schools, and a number of their homes which were all built to code. Before the show gets to addressing earthquake preparedness, I would like you to walk around your home and assess a few things. First, assess your stove, bookcases, large mirrors, large framed pictures, and televisions. Are these anchored sufficiently to the wall or to the studs in the wall so that in an earthquake, where you had moderate or even violent shaking, they would fall ?   If not, begin to make a list of things you need to do, and what materials you will need.  I will post some websites on how larger items can be anchored preventing serious injuries of babies, children and even adults.   Securing things takes time, a little money, and it does make cleaning things a little tougher than it might be without the anchoring systems, however I was glad I had done it when nothing large crashed and no one was hurt in my home when we experienced an unexpected and largely unplanned for 5.8 earthquake recently.

This is an excellent website from the government of New Zealand :

Secondly, take a look at your glassware and knick-knacks.   Would there easily fall onto wood floors shattering and creating a hazard when your children may not have shoes on, and try to exit your home following an earthquake at night ?   Third, take a good look around your home interior and exterior considering anything which might need to be addressed prior to an earthquake.  Know where your water and gas shutoffs are, and make sure your spouse and teen-aged children know also.
Our show shall be on, once again, at 8 pm Central Standard Time, US.  Talk to you then !

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