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QuakeSmart Toolkit: Step 2: Make a Plan

After you have identified the potential earthquake risks and how they could impact your business, it’s time to create your mitigation plan and decide on techniques and solutions to reduce your risks from earthquakes. Knowing how to make a mitigation plan will take you one step closer to becoming a more resilient business. As the backbone of the nation's economy, America’s businesses must be ready and able to withstand and recover rapidly from disasters—this takes some planning. Unfortunately, small businesses are more vulnerable to losses from earthquakes because they typically have fewer resources to devote to the development of mitigation plans. Larger businesses may have emergency management and continuity of operations plans as well as other resources but they may not have the knowledge on how to effectively integrate mitigation into their planning and decision making process.

Download the QuakeSmart Toolkit Documents from the FEMA Library.

Based on your identified earthquake risks, the work plan templates on this page could be used to support your earthquake mitigation planning process.

Earthquake Mitigation Plan Template

  • Company:
  • Project Lead:
  • Name:
  • Title/Department:
  • Address:
  • Address:
  • Phone Number:
  • Phone Number:
  • Executive Summary:
  • Background: (Summary description of seismic risk to include priorities)
  • Goals & Objectives:

Mitigation Project Plan (Do It-Yourself):

These are nonstructural earthquake mitigation activities that can be completed by someone with common tools and readily available materials. The lists below are non-inclusive. For full guidance on nonstructural risks, please refer to Reducing the Risks of Nonstructural Earthquake Damage (FEMA E-74).

 Nonstructural RisksPotential Mitigation SolutionsAssigned ToBudgetCompletion Date
Building Utility SystemsPropane TanksRemove from high risk areas, secure in low traffic area   
Water HeaterBrace to wall studs, use flexible connectors   
Furniture and ContentsComputersStrap or Velcro® monitor/laptop to desk, latch desktop to desk   
Tall ShelvingAttach to wall with brackets   
Library StacksBrace to floor, install guards for books   
Tall File CabinetsSecure to wall, install cabinet latches   
Drawers and CabinetsInstall latches to drawers and cabinets   
Compressed-Gas CylindersAttach to wall with chains or braces   
Hazardous MaterialsRemove from business area   
Fragile ArtworkSecure to walls with screws and to tables with putty   
Miscellaneous Furniture/FixturesSecure ceiling fans and lights with safety cables   

Mitigation Project Plan (Engineering-Required Mitigation Projects—Hire A Professional):

Assessing structural risks and more complex nonstructural risks requires the services of a structural engineer or other design professional to accurately evaluate and design reasonable mitigation measures. The following list is not all-inclusive; it is meant to guide you when speaking with a professional. So when in doubt, hire a professional!

 Nonstructural RisksPotential Mitigation SolutionsAssigned ToBudgetCompletion Date
Building Utility SystemsPiping    
HVAC Equipment & Ducts    
Suspended Space Heater    
Fuel Tank    
Air Compressor    
Automatic Fire Sprinkler Piping & Heaads    
Architectural ElementsBuild-in Partitions    
Suspended T-Bar Ceilings/Light Fixtures    
Roof Parapets    
Exterior Veneer/Exterior Signs    
Freestanding Walls or Fences    
Furniture and ContentsFreestanding Half-Height Partitions    
Unreinforced Masonry Construction    
Cripple walls not bolted to foundation    
Older, non-ductile concrete construction    
Concrete tilt up construction with unanchored roof system    
Soft story construction or other building irregularities    
Unreinforced or unanchored brick elements in your building structure or facade    


Last Updated: 
12/22/2015 - 16:50