Now's The Time To Prepare For Earthquakes - Helpful Tips To Prevent Future Damage

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Release date: 
June 13, 2002
Release Number: 
1415-13

Albany, NY -- As people in upstate New York begin to rebuild and repair their property after the April 20 AuSable Forks earthquake, state and federal officials are calling for residents and businesses in the area to plan ahead for the next one.

"It is never too late to start preparing for the next earthquake, because much of the damage in earthquakes is predictable and preventable," said Federal Coordinating Officer Marianne C. Jackson. "There are certain simple steps that can go a long way in preventing future earthquake damage."

"Since we can't predict if and when another quake might hit New York, we should do what we can now to prevent damage in the future," said Edward F. Jacoby, Jr., of the State Emergency Management Office (SEMO). "An ounce of prevention-at very little cost-is well worth the effort to safeguard our families and homes in the future."

Years of experience have shown that ground movement during an earthquake is seldom the direct cause of death and injury. In fact, 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. You can prevent injuries and protect your property with the following important steps:

  • Bolt bookcases, china cabinets, and other tall furniture to wall studs. Brace or anchor high or top-heavy objects. During an earthquake, these things can fall over, causing damage or injury.

  • Secure items that might fall, such as televisions, bookcases and computers. Falling items can be a major cause of damage or injury in a quake.

  • Install strong latches or bolts on cabinet doors to prevent the contents from flying out during the quake.

  • Move large or heavy objects and fragile items to lower shelves where they are less likely to fall and cause injury or break.

  • Store breakable items such as bottled foods, glass and china in low, closed cabinets with latches.

  • Store weed killers, pesticides, and flammable products securely in closed cabinets with latches, on bottom shelves.

  • Hang heavy items, such as pictures and mirrors, away from beds, couches and anywhere people sits. Earthquakes frequently knock things off walls, causing damage or injury.

  • Brace overhead light fixtures. During earthquakes, overhead light fixtures are the most common items to fall.

  • Strap the water heater to wall studs. The water heater may be your best source of drinkable water following an earthquake. Protect it from damage and leaks.

  • Bolt down any gas appliances. After an earthquake, broken gas lines frequently create fire hazards.

  • Install flexible pipefittings to avoid gas or water leaks. Flexible fittings will be less likely to break.

  • Repair any deep ...
Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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