8 Ways to Prep Your Home for an Earthquake

san francisco houses 8 Ways to Prep Your Home for an Earthquake
Living in California earthquakes are just a way of life, similar to traffic. Almost all are just little tremors but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be prepared for something larger.
Emily White, director of preparedness for the American Red Cross Bay Area shares some tips to make your home earthquake ready.
1. Strap down heavy furniture and water heaters.
2. Move furniture away from exits, beds away from windows and pictures off bookshelves and away from beds.
3. Shift heavy items from top shelves to bottom shelves and secure breakable items with earthquake putty.
4. Hang pictures well. Quake-resistant picture hooks are available to prevent paintings and mirrors from falling. Hang items away from places where people sleep or sit.


5. Steady small electronics and appliances. Special fasteners can be used for items you don’t want to affix permanently, such as your home computer, fax machine, small television and microwave oven.
6. Make latches tight. Cupboard and drawer latches should be used in the kitchen to keep contents from falling out.
7. Train each member of the household to use a fire extinguisher and tell them its location.
8. Learn how to shut off the gas valves in your home; keep a wrench handy just for that purpose. Turn off the gas only if you smell a leak (rotten eggs) because only PG&E can turn it back on.
More earthquake safety tips.
photo: roarofthefour

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timothy dahl profile 8 Ways to Prep Your Home for an Earthquake

Timothy Dahl

Founder/EIC at Charles & Hudson
Timothy’s background includes stints at This Old House, ELLE DECOR, Metropolitan Home and Woman’s Day. His work has been published on Wired Design, Bob Vila, DIY Network, The Family Handyman and Popular Mechanics and he has been featured on the Martha Stewart radio show and as a speaker at the ALT Design Summit, K/BIS and the National Hardware Show.
timothy dahl profile 8 Ways to Prep Your Home for an Earthquake

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  • Allison

    Great tip on the vinegar. I’ll have to try it next time.

  • Meg

    I am currently in the process of removing wall paper from a Second Empire Victorian. What a mess!! I had no idea that it would take 10 hours to remove the paper from just one room!! We are using a steamer and DIF. I am going to try fabric softener and water this weekend as well as the steamer again. The Dif only takes off one layer at a time, but the steamer takes them all. It is SLOW going. There is some damage to the walls from scraping, so be prepared to touch up areas. I have also found that the plaster absorbes some of the glue, so be sure to use an oil based primer before painting. That way all of your hard work isn’t for nothing when the water based paint reacts with the glue and you have to scrape and repaint areas! I have heard of the vinegar and water, but I can’t stand the smell. Good luck to everyone removing wallpaper. It is not fun and takes a long time.

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    I is good tips for them who will want to remove wallpaper. It also helpful to me.