Take some simple, low or no-cost steps to make your home safer before an emergency. You can find more tips in the Prepare Yourself Workbook.
Ensure everyone in your household knows where utility shutoffs are located how to turn them off. You may need to shut them off if they are damaged, if you are evacuating or emergency officials or utility companies instruct you to do so. This includes water, propane, natural gas and electrical. Also, secure your hot water tank to wall studs with steel strapping.
There are many simple steps you can take to protect your home and those in it. In a strong earthquake, our greatest risk of injury is from moving or falling items in our home. Consider the following steps:
- Move beds away from windows.
- Remove heavy objects such as pictures, shelving and mirrors from over beds.
- Close curtains or blinds at night for additional protection against broken glass and debris.
- Secure bookcases, china cabinets and shelving units to wall studs.
- Place heavy items on lower shelves.
- Store household chemicals and paints outside the home in a shed or garage.
- Tip: Keep a pair of sturdy shoes under the bed (upside down) with a flashlight inside.
A little work before a storm is time well spent. Secure items to prevent from blowing away or tipping in strong winds. Ensure eaves and drains are clear of leaves and debris to ensure proper drainage.