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Seismic Safety Foundation Repair

Pasadena's and Los Angeles earthquake retrofitting, house bolting and foundation repair specialists. In business for over 65 Years!

How to prepare for an Earthquake?

Earthquake is likely to be probably the most destructive natural disasters which can cause the enormous deterioration of life and property. But before going into earthquake preparation methods, let's know about these earthquakes:

An earthquake in simple terms is the shaking of the surface of the earth caused by a sudden release of energy in the earth's lithosphere which creates seismic waves. An earthquake is actually a seismic natural or man-made event which disturbs the land or seabed causing potential landslides to tsunamis. 

How can we prepare for it?
Remember that earthquakes occur all of a sudden. So, the best which may be done is that we can be ready for it. This readiness works on two levels:

  • The city can be prepared for it by foundation bolting older structures, bridges, and highways with devices like earthquake brace bolts and belts to maximize their probabilities of making it through the earthquake. Newer buildings must be designed in a plan that their collapse can be avoided.
  • On the micro level, for individuals and families, it means keeping yourself alert and setting up an earthquake plan and kit. The guidelines of what to do before, during and after an earthquake should be clear.

So what to do before an earthquake?
Prevention can be made possible by:

  • Identifying probable hazards and being cautious ahead of time can conserve crucial time when the disaster hits. 
  • Planning ahead can lessen the risks of serious injury or loss of life from an earthquake.
  • Repairing and reinforcing: if you reside in earthquake-prone areas then:

              ** Building foundations and ceilings needs to be strengthened and repaired as necessary. 
              ** Overhead lighting should be anchored to the ceiling.
              ** Furniture, bookshelves, hanging pictures and other objects needs to be secured to the floor or the wall.
              ** Place bulky or big items on lower shelves.
              ** Store breakable items such as glass, china or bottled foods in low, closed cabinets with latches.
              ** Hang all heavy items such as pictures and mirrors away from beds, couches and anywhere people sit.
              ** Repair your defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections. These serve as potential fire risks.
              ** Secure your water heater by strapping it to the wall studs and bolting it to the floor.
              ** Store flammable products in the bottom shelves of closed cabinets with latches. 

  • Since many injuries are actually the result of things falling on people so doing an inventory of your house or where you work would be beneficial. Put all the things which can fall behind closed cabinets or in another secondary container which can be screwed down. 
  • Follow the local announcement on new information and keep an ear out on what's happening outside your doors and in the streets.
  • Create a disaster supply kit since it's very likely that in the aftermath you might not have access to potable water, food, and other necessities:

              ** Make sure that the kit has not only enough water but also provisions and tablets which can make dirty water drinkable.
              ** Store food and a couple of clothes plus a map of the town.
              ** Keep a flashlight and extra batteries
              ** Keep handy portable, battery-operated radio along with extra batteries
              ** Keep a First aid kit and manual. 
              ** Nonelectric can openers should be kept as well since fresh food will likely be unavailable for days and you might have to eat canned foods.
              ** Important medicines should be stored. 
              ** Keep money, credit cards and ID cards close. All these will be valuable in case you get evacuated to a safer area.
              ** Sturdy shoes are a must. You never know what you have to walk over. 

Collect provisions so that they last at least 72 hours. Keep the kit where it is the most accessible to you.


  • Make emergency communication plans so that you can reunite with your family just in case you get separated. Don't depend on cell phones or other devices which require electricity. One way is to inquire an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the family contact since it is often easier to call long distance than local during disasters. Make sure that all family members know the address, name and phone number of the person.
  • Identify safe places indoors and outdoors like:

              ** Underneath sturdy furniture such as heavy tables or desk. 
              ** Away from where glass can shatter, like around windows, glass pictures, mirrors etc. 
              ** Away from where heavy bookcases or other heavy furniture could fall over.
              ** Stay against an inside wall.
              ** Or head out in the open, away from structures, overpasses, trees, telephone and electrical lines or elevated expressways.

  •  Educate Yourself and Family Members: For this

              ** Get in touch with your local emergency management office to get information about how to protect yourself and your belongings during earthquakes. 
              ** Also, educate children how to, and most importantly, when to call 911 or the fire department.
              ** Also, train them to tune into those specific radio stations which will supply emergency information.
              ** At last, ensure that all members of the family know when to shut down gas, water, and electricity so as to prevent possible fires.

Now let's cover what to do during an earthquake:

  • Know that some earthquakes are just fore-shocks and a huge one might be behind. Minimize your motions to a close by safe place.
  • Follow the instruction of Drop, Cover and Hold:

              ** Drop to the ground. 
              ** Take cover under a table or other sturdy furniture. 
              ** If furniture isn't close by then move to the inside part of the building or to a corner. Get away from glass and stay on the floor with arms covering your head.
              ** Stay inside till you are sure that the shaking has stopped
              ** Then go out. Once outside, transfer to an area away from buildings. 

After the earthquake is the most crucial time. Here's what to do:

  • Just get to a safe location and be sure to carry your disaster kit with you. 
  • Check for injuries. Then assist others.
  • Follow the emergency communication plan and reunite with your family. 

The most essential part of preparedness is not soley as an individual but as a family and more importantly, as a community. Guantee that everyone knows all the emergency numbers and is conscious of local plans to counter earthquakes. Hardly any can be done in the aftermath till rescue services arrive but preparedness will go a long way in saving your life and also of others. 

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