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It may seem impossible to prepare for an earthquake because they strike without warning, but there are actually several things that you can do to promote earthquake preparedness for you and your family.
What to Do in an Earthquake
Teach everyone in your family what to do in an earthquake and practice it often. At the first sign of an earthquake, get down on the ground in an area without falling objects, and crouch down, covering your head and neck with your hands and arms. The Red Cross has a great earthquake safety guide.
Document Your Emergency Contacts
A great activity to do with older children is work with them to document your emergency contacts and post it where all family members can readily access it. Gather emergency numbers for police, fire, and other first responders. List all cell phone numbers of family members and the names, addresses, and phone numbers of neighbors. List important emergency information such as medical and insurance numbers.
Get Survival Essentials
Always be prepared for a disaster when you have survival essentials on hand. It is prudent to have enough food and water for each family member to last three to five days. Plan on each family member requiring a gallon of water per day for drinking and hygiene.
Freeze dried camping food is a great idea for stocking away as it has a long shelf life, and canned food is relatively inexpensive and convenient. Include a balance of food groups for good nutrition. Be sure to include a manual can opener with your food supplies.
You may want to consider stocking an extra supply of particular medical essentials and remember that your pets will also need food and water of their own.
Fully Stock for First Aid
Make sure that your first aid kit is up to date and has everything you need to take care of wounds and broken bones. Remember to allow at least one blanket per person in your family. A flashlight and radio powered by an alternative source such as crank power or the sun are two other survival essentials. If you have a battery-powered radio and flashlights, make sure you have extra batteries.
Make sure that your home is covered in the event of a quake by purchasing a policy that includes earthquake damage as part of the reimbursable events in the plan. A Sacramento insurance agent can help you acquire coverage that is right for your property and home.
Prepare Your Home
Preparing your home for the occurrence of an earthquake is actually taking steps to safeguard your family from becoming seriously injured in the home. Prevent objects from falling in your home by using one of these fastening methods.
All shelves and other tall and heavy furniture need to be fastened to wall studs with metal brackets
Fasten any large items securely to the walls and floor. Place heavy objects that could become airborne weapons in the lowest place possible. You can also rig certain objects to fall towards a wall instead of out into a room by using fine nylon cording tied around the object to connect to an eye screw that is fastened to the wall.
Heavy objects such as mirrors and light fixtures do not have a place above a bed or couch in earthquake-prone areas. Also, check with your local home improvement center to find out what options are available to secure your refrigerator to the wall behind it.
In addition, it is a great idea to have a plumber come by the house to install flexible fittings on your water and gas pipes. This seemingly small step could save your family from dealing with two disasters instead of one. Learn how to turn off the gas and water supplies as well. After taking the steps necessary to prepare for an earthquake, you can feel confident living in earthquake country.