home safety

How to prepare your home or business in the event of an earthquake

earth While this is an interior design blog and we are in the business of designing and creating custom hardware, we also happen to live and work in California, a state this is ripe with active faults.  Since the American Red Cross has designated April "Earthquake Preparedness Month" we thought we would share some of their tips to help insure the safety of you, your family and your customers.  After all, is there anything more important than the safety of those who visit your homes and businesses?

Here in California and many other parts of the country and the world, small earthquakes are a common occurrence.  However, "the big one" will hit some day and we must all be prepared.  If you reside in California or any other part of the world that sits on an active fault, you are no doubt familiar with the occasional shaking of the ground, often preceded by a low rumbling sound.  Your windows shake, the chandelier swings and, if the quake is strong enough, items in cupboards and on shelves shift.  More often than not these small quakes are nothing more than something to talk about over the water cooler the next day.   Nevertheless, it is important to be prepared if a large quake should hit in your area.

  1. Have a plan--Create an escape plan that includes a meeting place for everyone to gather if they leave the premises..  Make sure everyone in your family or business is aware of the plan, when to exit and when to stay put.  Learn the Drop, Cover and Hold routine.
  2. Have an emergency kit-- Be sure your kit includes fresh water for every individual for three days, any medicines, items for those who have special needs such as the elderly and infants, clothing, cash, batteries....for a complete list visit this site
  3. Remember the pets--Be sure to have a plan to evacuate and/or care for household pets and include food, bedding  and medicines in hour emergency kit for them as well.

The best preparation is to make your home or place of business earthquake safe before a quake strikes.

  1. Bolt large pieces of furniture to the walls.
  2. Avoid hanging heavy artwork, televisions and mirrors over seating or sleeping areas.
  3. Reinforce dangerous appliances like gas water heaters to the wall
  4. Place children's beds away from windows and glass doors
  5. Businesses and hotels should post emergency information for guests and employees

More complete information can be found at the American Red Cross, the Southern California Earthquake Center @USC, and the California Earthquake Authority.