The homeowners guide to earthquakes
What you should know to prepare, protect, and recover.
California may be known for earthquakes, but if you live anywhere west\_(or just east)\_of the Rockies, you're\_in an earthquake zone. If you live along the Mississippi River in the New Madrid region, that's an earthquake zone too. Earthquakes can\_(and do)\_occur everywhere from Alaska to the Appalachians and New England.\_
Before: Be prepared
You can increase the likelihood of avoiding damage by making these adjustments inside your home. Consider working with a professional to help choose and install safety features.
- Anchor bookcases and large appliances to walls.
- Install latches on drawers and cabinet doors to keep contents from spilling.
- Install ledge barriers on shelves and place heavy items on lower shelves.
- Secure large, heavy items and breakables directly to shelves.
- Use closed hooks and wire to securely attach pictures and mirrors to walls.
- Secure ceiling lights, suspended ceilings, and other hanging items such as chandeliers and plants.
- Apply safety film to windows and glass doors.
- Lock the rollers of any large appliances or furniture.
- Secure water heater(s) to walls.
- Fit all gas appliances with flexible connections and/or a breakaway gas shutoff device or install a main gas shutoff device.
After: Take precaution and evaluate
Once you've ensured everyone is ok, do the following.
- Look for any gas leaks, water leaks, and electrical shorts.
- Turn off any damaged utilities. Do not try to turn them back on yourself, have the utility company assist you.
- Check TV, online, or radio for any evacuation orders.
- Be prepared for a possible aftershock.