Home Safe Home: Preparing for Our Next Quake

Posted: April 6th, 2011 by Just Real Seattle

Recent events in Japan are not just shocking for the destruction they caused there, but they are also a reminder we in the Pacific Northwest are also on precarious ground. The Cascadia Seduction Zone (CSZ) is the 800 miles of intersecting tectonic plates on top of which our communities sit. While newer homes are built according to current codes, home retrofit programs and stricter seismic repair policies are ensuring older homes more vulnerable to damage during an earthquake – particularly URMs or those with un-reinforced masonry – are updated.
 
For so many of us, our homes are our greatest investment. As such protecting them – and ourselves inside them – during a geological event takes preparation and planning. Along with an understanding of the structural integrity of your home, here are some simple things you can do to minimize damage during a quake:
 
* Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas lines now.
* Bolt down and secure to the wall studs your water heater, refrigerator, furnace, and gas appliances.
* Anchor overhead lighting fixtures.
* Install flexible pipe fittings to avoid gas or water leaks. Flexible fittings are more resistant to breakage.
 
Remember, always have a first aid kit and emergency plan at the ready. A little forethought now means greater peace of mind for you and yours when you’ll need it most.

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