Latch It Up, Latch It In, & Let Us Begin to Prepare for Earthquakes
A FEW THINGS YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW AROUND YOUR HOME
First things first, “movie earthquakes” aren’t real ‘quakes. Let’s assess your risk level.
When we think about earthquakes, we often think about hyperbolic end-of-the-world worst case scenarios, like the earth’s crust suddenly opening up and swallowing cars, homes, and cities whole.
While large earthquakes are certainly a risk and a “big one” could be on its way, let’s take a moment to assess our actual risk level so we can prepare accordingly. According to the National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC), over 20,000 earthquakes happen every year, which translates into about 50 a day around the world. Around 10,000 of those happen in Southern California, most of which go unnoticed.
States that are most affected by earthquakes, in addition to California, are Alaska, Nevada, Hawaii, Washington, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Oregon. However, earthquakes do sometimes happen on the east coast, though rare, in places like Virginia and New York. They even occur in the south in Arkansas, for example, or in the midwest like Illinois. This is all to say that you’re not alone - we’re in this together.
Log into the harbor app and input your address to find out if your home is at risk and to then take more detailed steps to prevent home damage and personal injury.
Life happens. Earthquakes do happen - some big, and thankfully most of them small. As such, many injuries are preventable!
So if you haven’t yet, let’s begin preparation by doing a few things around your home to get it a wee bit safer in case things start shaking. The quickest and easiest thing you can do right now is to reduce your risk of injury caused by your stuff tipping over or your things falling off shelves.
Why? Well, this from OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) sums it up quite nicely for us,
“Most earthquake-related injuries result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects as a result of the ground shaking, or people trying to move more than a few feet during the shaking. Much of the damage in earthquakes is predictable and preventable.”
The reality is, whether the shaking is light or strong, it won’t be easy or safe to run to your loved ones to protect them - that adds even more risk! Your home will shake, and it’s best to DROP, COVER, & HOLD ON no matter what.
Things fall, and then things fall apart, which isn’t good for anyone. That’s why before the shaking starts, we can prevent as much injury as possible by securing everyday objects now around our house as much as possible.
Here’s what you can use to start getting your home earthquake-ready:
1. Cabinet Latches
What we want to avoid is your favorite dishes or cups turning into a kitchen floor of dangerous glass shards for you or for your children. While having a sturdy pair of shoes near your bed helps (if the earthquake happens at night), it’s best to avoid having to step on anything sharp in the first place. What happens in the cupboard stays in the cupboard!
BONUS: One fun fact about these latches is that they are only activated during earthquakes. In other words, you’re not going to be locked out of your cabinets every morning when trying to grab your coffee mug. They’ll just keep that favorite coffee mug safe when the shaking starts!
2. Cabinet and Refrigerator Fasteners
We’ve all got big refrigerators, clothing cabinets, storage cupboards, or giant book shelves. No one wants to feel or see these beasts falling on top of us or our family members in the middle of an earthquake rumble. To avoid that tumble, get some fasteners.
Let’s leave all leaning towers to Pisa. No leaning towers of books allowed!
BONUS: Since these fasteners attach to large furniture with adhesive, it opens the door to many different things you can secure. Your home is the limit! You might be surprised by how many large furniture items are in your home without friends like these to hold them tight.
3. TV and Equipment Fasteners
TV should never become a weapon against you in an earthquake, and neither should your nearby sound system or speakers. It’s Netflix and Chill, not Netflix and Be Very Afraid of Your TV. Just in case an earthquake happens while you’re watching your favorite show - and of course to avoid anything shattering during or after - try using a smattering of these fasteners.
BONUS: Having your things very secure is great for the greater good, regardless of any earthquakes hitting your city, because many of us have children and pets running around having fun. That’s the way it should be, right!? The best way to keep it that way is to keep large objects perpetually still.
Now go on a Hazard Hunt!
In addition to the earthquake goodies mentioned above, it also helps to roam around your home with your family and do what we like to call a “Hazard Hunt” for objects and clutter that could easily topple over, shatter, or cause harm.
Maybe that picture frame above your bed isn’t such a good idea, or that giant vase on a wobbly table could be rethought. No matter what, make it fun. Use your imagination. Take small steps each day to better your home safety.
For more tips, tricks, product recommendations, digital document storage, comprehensive supplies checklists, and a personalized household safety plan, check out the harbor app.
no matter what, don’t worry, be ready.