17 Earthquake Prep Tips

Earthquakes come without warning; learn how to be prepared and keep out of harm's way. 

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Photo By: Sam Zachrich

Photo By: Sam Zachrich

Photo By: Sam Zachrich

Photo By: Bethany Nauert

Photo By: Sam Zachrich

Photo By: Bethany Nauert

Photo By: Bethany Nauert

Photo By: Bethany Nauert

Photo By: Bethany Nauert

Photo By: Sam Zachrich

Photo By: Sam Zachrich

Photo By: Sam Zachrich

Photo By: Sam Zachrich

Photo By: Sam Zachrich

Photo By: Sam Zachrich

Photo By: Sam Zachrich

Photo By: Sam Zachrich

Be Prepared

Earthquakes are unpredictable and can be scary. But the best way to be less scared of an earthquakes is to be prepared. A few decor, storage and safety tips can go a long way in making you feel ‘ready’.

Anchors Away

One of the bigger dangers in an earthquake is heavy furniture toppling over. Anchor armoires, bookcases, buffets, and any other large piece of furniture to the walls with adjustable straps.

Wax On...

Created for use in museums, repositionable sticky wax is a useful tool for safely securing glass and other breakables to shelving. It removes from both surfaces without damaging your valuables.

Raise A Glass

Open shelving can pose a problem for favorite stemware and cups. If you have glassware in an open display, consider securing it with a tasteful trim.


To prevent paintings, clocks, mirrors or photographs flying off the wall, be sure to hang them with special picture-hanging hardware that picture wire slides into – and the hardware closes around the wire.  This means during an earthquake, artwork won’t slip off the hook and fall.

A Crib Note

Crib mobiles are a pretty addition to any nursery. Keep the mobile lightweight and off to the side of the crib,€“ not directly over it, for the safest location.

Lightweight Artwork

Anything hanging near the crib should be as lightweight as possible.

Sleep Tight

In any bedroom in earthquake country, consider replacing heavy artwork over the bed with a textile for a softer look.

Glass-Free Art

Another option is to remove and dispose of glass from any non-precious artwork in kids’ rooms. Use your best judgment to decide if your artwork will be ok without glass, or behind a piece of Plexiglas instead.

Brace Yourself

A toppling water heater in a quake is preventable. Install a heavy metal bracing kit to ensure your water heater stays where it should, and save yourself thousands of dollars of possible water damage!

Extinguish Your Fears

It’s always good to have several fire extinguishers in your home. Keeping fire extinguishers in dedicated, obvious locations makes it easy to remember where they are in case of an emergency.

A Tall Drink of Water

Clean water may not be available after a large earthquake. Have one gallon per person per day stored so everyone can remain hydrated. Experts recommend having three days worth of water stored up.

Plenty to Go Around

Have enough non-perishable food to feed each person for three days. Crackers, power bars, canned food items with a pull-tab top, and single-serve packets like tuna and peanut butter can all be eaten simply. Don’t forget the can opener, paper plates and utensils.

In Case of Emergency

Have a box with emergency items: first aid kit, flashlights and batteries, candles and matches, a hand-crank radio and a tool kit. Consider adding a solar charger to your kit to power devices like cell phones or anything with an USB port in case of a power outage.

A hand-crank radio is a useful communicating tool when the power goes out. With a few simple turns, AM and FM radio stations come in, and it’s easy to get updates on a disaster situation.

Power Outage Helper

Flashlights that charge in outlets and switch on in case of a power loss become instant safety lights.

We Gotta Go

Have a “go bag” for every member of the family in case you need to evacuate. Needs include a rugged pair of shoes, a few t-shirts, a jacket or sweatshirt, and all your desired personal hygiene items. Don’t forget socks and underwear! You wouldn’t want to be without them for a few days.

Man'€™s Best Friend

Make a “go bag” for your dog or cat too. Have a leash, carrier, bowls, treats and food ready for them when they go with you. Include a back up collar with your information on it in case your pet isn’t in theirs in an emergency situation. One possible option is to put an out of town contact’s information on the collar, in case local phone lines are down.

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