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Prepare yourself at home

Safety Survey Your Home

Check each room with “earthquake eyes.” Sit in each room and ask yourself what would injure you if a major earthquake hit at that moment. Fix any possible hazards.

  • Kitchen. An unprepared kitchen can be the most hazardous room in the house. Shattered glass, spilled chemicals, gas-fed fires, and falling objects are potential hazards.
  • Bedroom. Are there any objects that could fall and injure you in bed or block your escape route? Place shoes, flashlight, extra set of car keys, and phone numbers of contacts in a plastic bag under your bed.

  • Bathroom. Broken glass is the greatest potential hazard. Wear heavy shoes when entering the bathroom after earthquake.

  • Living Areas. Attach tall objects, such as bookshelves and dressers, to wall studs. Place heavy objects on floor or lower shelves. Store most-valuable breakable objects on lower shelves; consider earthquake wax to secure objects. Consider childproof locks on cabinets. Check smoke detectors every time you change your clocks.

  • Garage and Laundry Room. Water heater should be strapped with lag bolts to studs in wall; one strap 1/3 distance from top and another 1/3 from bottom. Gas water heater and gas stove in kitchen should use flexible gas lines that will move in an earthquake. Place heavy objects on lower garage shelving, if around car. Store flammable material in well-marked, unbreakable containers. Properly dispose of any hazardous material no longer needed. Know how to open electric garage door if power is off.

  • Automobile. Always keep gas tank 1/4 to 1/2 full. Place emergency supplies in trunk of car. When you get new eye glasses, place old pair in glove compartment. Keep cell phone charger in car.

  • Exterior. Keep lawns trimmed, leaves raked, and roof and rain gutters free of debris. Remove any dead wood, debris, and low tree branches within 5 yards of houses. Thin out shrubs and trees within 10 yards. If possible, store flammable materials in metal containers at least 10 yards away from house and wood fences. Get rid of any flammable material that isn’t needed. Store firewood 10 yards from house. Landscape property with fire resistant plants and vegetation.