The magnitude 8.0 earthquake that occurred in Alaska yesterday is a reminder for all residents to take steps today to protect their home before an earthquake strikes. It is also important for businesses to understand their risks. By becoming QuakeSmart, businesses can ensure employee safety and stay in business. The nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)® offers the following earthquake protection tips for residents and business owners. Remember to Look up, Look around and Look down.
1. Support ceiling fans and light pendants with the use of bracing wire secured to a screw eye embedded at least an inch into the ceiling joist.
2. Brace masonry chimneys back to the roof joists or reinforce roof sheathing to protect the home from falling masonry.
3. Anchor the tops of bookcases, file cabinets and entertainment centers to one or more studs with flexible fasteners or metal “L” brackets and screws to prevent tipping.
4. Secure loose shelving by screwing into the cabinet or with earthquake putty placed at each corner bracket.
5. Secure china, collectibles, trophies and other shelf items with earthquake putty.
6. Install a lip or blocking device to prevent books or other articles from falling off shelves.
7. Secure televisions, computers and stereos with buckles and safety straps that also allow easy removal and relocation.
8. Install latches on cabinet doors to prevent them from opening and spilling out their contents.
9. Hang mirrors, pictures and plants using closed hooks to prevent items from falling.
10. Cover windows with approved shatter-resistant safety film to protect against broken glass.
11. Ensure appliances have flexible gas or electrical connectors.
12. Strap the top and bottom of a water heater using heavy-gauge metal strapping secured to wall studs.
13. Locate your gas shutoff valve and ensure you know how to turn off the gas supply to your home with the use of a suitable wrench.
14. Relocate flammable liquids to a garage or outside storage location.
For additional resources for businesses visit the FLASH and FEMA QuakeSmart initiative. For more how-to earthquake information, residents can visit the Protect Your Home in a FLASH video library.
Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)®, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is the country’s leading consumer advocate for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and manmade disasters. FLASH collaborates with more than 120 innovative and diverse partners that share its vision of making America a more disaster‐resilient nation including: BASF, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Florida Division of Emergency Management, The Home Depot®, International Code Council, Kohler® Generators, National Weather Service, Portland Cement Association, RenaissanceRe, Simpson Strong-Tie®, State Farm™, USAA® and WeatherPredict Consulting Inc. In 2008, FLASH opened the interactive weather experience StormStruck: A Tale of Two Homes® in Lake Buena Vista, FL. Learn more about FLASH and gain access to its free consumer resources by visiting www.flash.org or calling (877) 221- SAFE (7233). Also, get timely safety tips to ensure that you and your family are protected from natural and manmade disasters by subscribing to the FLASH blog – Protect Your Home in a FLASH.
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Federal Alliance For Safe Homes, 1427 E. Piedmont Dr., Suite 2, Tallahassee, FL 32308 United States