Earthquake damage can be mitigated if you and your family take precautionary measures. Here are some steps you can take before, during and after an earthquake.
- Have a licensed contractor check your chimney(s), roof and wall foundations for stability. Make sure your home is bolted to the foundation.
- Secure your water heater(s) with approved water heater strapping.
- Secure heavy furnishings, appliances and bookcases to the walls and floors.
- Know where your gas, electrical and water main shut-off valves are located.
- Keep heavy shoes and gloves underneath your bed to protect yourself from broken glass and debris left on the floor after an earthquake.
- Prepare and maintain a first aid kit (with a first aid handbook) for your entire family.
- Maintain an emergency supply kit that will sustain you and your family for a 72-hour period. This kit should include flashlights, a portable radio, extra batteries, canned food, a fire extinguisher (ABC rated), bottled water, cash, blankets, clothing and toiletries.
- Stay away from windows. Stand in a sturdy doorway, duck under a durable table or move to an inner wall or hallway.
- Turn off all appliances and the main electrical circuit breaker.
- If you smell gas or notice a broken water line, turn off the appropriate valve.
- Check for fires and/or other household hazards.
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