It seems that every state is plagued with some type of natural disaster. Florida is known for hurricanes, Iowa has tornadoes and California is famous for earthquakes. Along with mudslides, earthquakes are among California’s most destructive recurring natural disasters. To help residents become better prepared to deal with quakes, the Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA offers some advice about how to ready your home to absorb the damage caused by earthquakes.
1) Inspect the home you live in for weaknesses such as flimsy crawl space walls or unsecured foundations. If you own your home, seek professional help with repairs. If you are a renter, discuss what may be done to make improvements with the owner.
2) Ensure that heavy, loose objects that can fall and strike a person as an earthquake shakes your home are properly secured to avoid injury. Inspect each room of your home and make special note of these items. Heavy items such as bookcases, home electronics and appliances hanging from walls or ceilings are of particular concern. Secure these objects with flexible fasteners, such as nylon straps, or with closed hooks. You can also relocate them to lower shelves to reduce potential damage or safety hazards.
3) Ensure that you and your family are well-trained in proper emergency response in the event of an earthquake. Just as you should have a planned escape route in case of a fire, you should have emergency supplies and a shelter in your home to use in the event of an earthquake.
While the earthquake itself is frightening, many people are injured during the time after the quake. The American Red Cross offers some useful suggestions about how to treat or prevent injuries after an earthquake:
1) Treat or seek treatment for your own injuries before attempting to aid others.
2) Wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, sturdy shoes and work gloves to protect against cuts from broken objects while inspecting your home for damages.
3) Immediately clean up spilled medications, bleach, and flammable liquids.
IF YOU SUFFERED EARTHQUAKE DAMAGE, YOU NEED PROFESSIONAL HELP
While most earthquakes are not strong enough to destroy homes or businesses, even small tremors can cause significant damage. Pipes may be twisted and broken, and this can lead to flooding in the home. Home fires are another potential danger after an earthquake. If at all possible, shut off all gas supplies and avoid open flames or sudden sparks in areas where gas may be present.
Your friends at J&M Keystone have been tackling earthquake-related concerns of Californians for many years. If you have any questions about earthquake, water or fire damage, contact them for help. J&M Keystone can be on the scene immediately and can help you deal with the after-effects of an earthquake to ensure your home is safe for you and your family.
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