Compared to other natural disasters like hurricanes and fires, earthquakes strike without warning anywhere in the world.
There’s no telling when they’ll happen and most of the time, they bring extensive damage.
During an earthquake, your own home itself can become a danger to you and your family. How can you prepare your own home for an earthquake?
Preventing Structural Damage
The first step in quake-proofing your home is to prevent the damage where it is most likely to occur. Providing structural support to areas that are weak such as the front porch, glass doors, wooden decks, and the garage. Consulting a professional engineer is the best option in order to evaluate the structure of your home and make the necessary improvements in order to strengthen these areas. Making use of the best materials is essential in protecting your home as well. Concrete dries fast and is one of the sturdiest materials that are earthquake-resistant.
It’s common for furniture to get thrown around when a quake starts, especially if it’s a strong one. The danger of cabinets, light fixtures, and other furniture to fall down and injure you or your family is high when these things are unsecured. What you need to do here is bolting or fastening them safely in place. This ensures that they won’t fall down easily and pose any danger for people inside your home during an earthquake. Use the best available framing hammer to fasten nails on the feet of cabinets and fasten dressers to the walls to prevent them from toppling over and hurting anyone.
Placing Objects Safely
Head injury is quite an expected injury during earthquakes. This is because of heavy objects falling on people’s heads during all the shaking and this can even be serious at times. If you don’t want this to happen, be smart in storing objects in your home. To make sure safety is a priority, pack heavier things such as tin cans, bottles, and glass on the lower cabinets and cupboards as they won’t be falling from a great height. Store the lighter objects on the upper bins to prevent potential hazards. In addition, always lock your cupboards since they may jar open during a quake.
Check Your Electronics
Power outlets can also be damaged during an earthquake. Knowing how to apply and repair switch wiring can help prevent electrical hazards at home. Due to the intensity of the shaking, some wires and panels can be dislodged or worse, completely broken and exposed. This would then lead to electrical hazard or even a potential for fire, so securing your homes electronics is a priority for earthquake preparedness. Consult an electrician to secure the electrical wires in and around your house, making sure there are no live or exposed wires before a quake. Repositioning outlets that are near potential hazards like the sink or the gas would also make it a lot safer.
Having a Safe Roof
A roof made from strong materials can easily survive an earthquake. If a roof does get damaged, not only does it make repairs hard, it also poses a danger of taking the whole house with it. Using lighter materials such as aluminum or metal is a great way to reduce weight on the roof and prevent extensive damage. Applying asphalt shingles is also a good alternative because they’re lighter and more flexible than other roofing materials. If you’ve bought an already-built house, asking a contractor to replace the roof with lightweight materials can be done beforehand.
Water Heater and Gas Appliances
Getting clean water after an earthquake can be difficult if some services end up unavailable. Your water heater can easily be damaged during an earthquake if it’s not secured properly. Faster the water heater against the wall, making sure that it stands upright. Replacing the metal pipes with more a flexible material will also prevent damage during the quake. Gas-powered appliances also benefit with more elastic connections and prevent possible gas leaks.
Additional Earthquake Proofing
Taking the pre-emptive measures for earthquake-proofing your home is important. A house can become a dangerous place during a quake and ensuring the safety of your family is a must. Securing doors and packing up supplies beforehand will also help save you time when disaster does strike. Knowing what materials to use for your home will decide whether your house can survive or not.
We can’t really predict when and where an earthquake might hit. If you know the right things to do, then setting your home right, you can save a lot of money and time in repairs