Earthquake Tips and Safety Preventive Measures
Around 8:40 pm of March 1, a minor earthquake once again jolted the Bay Area. The magnitude came about to four-point-two temblor according to the source. The quake was centered near East Bay town of Lafayette. The residents from Sonoma to San Jose County reported feeling the quake. It was minor that it didn't cause any serious damage or injuries to anyone. There were some that reported a broken water pipe that caused flooding at an office in Pleasant Hill. Another woman in Lafayette told authorities that her water heater had detached itself from the wall and flooded her basement according to Contra Costa fire officials. Make sure that your water heater is strapped twice to the wall. Besides, it's a compliance safety issue (California code, Health and Safety code, under section 19210-19217) for every homeowner to check their water heater being properly secured to the wall. Here are some few tips:
Securing a Water Heater
- Mark your water heater at the front center, about one-third of the way down from the top and approximately one-third of the way up from the bottom.
- Ensure that the bottom mark is at least 4 inches above the water controls.
- Secure the water heater with a 16- to 20-gauge, pre-drilled steel strap.
- If you place the water heater on a pedestal, you must secure the pedestal to the wall or floor to keep it from moving out from under the water heater during an earthquake.
- For more information on securing your water heater, contact your local emergency management office or utility.
In other words, all water heaters must be braced, anchored, or strapped to resist falling or horizontal displacement due to earth movement or earthquake motion period.
You may also want to consider securing bookcases, wall hangings, and hanging plants. A family emergency plan would be a good thing to discuss with your spouse and all family members so everyone knows what they should do in case of an emergency. Try to appoint a meeting place outside your home where your whole family can gather once the danger has passed. Also, don't forget to assign a distant relative or a friend who can serve as a point of contact where you and family members can coordinate and communicate if you are separated.
My suggestion is to plan ahead of time. Make sure that you keep flashlights, batteries and candles on hand. Make sure you have a portable radio. All members should know how to turn off utilities (electricity, water and gas) at the home. Be aware for breakable items that might be shaken and knocked down, especially glass items. We both know you and I that broken glass on the floor accounts for many of the injuries suffered in the aftermath of an earthquake, and glass-filled carpet is also hazardous long after the danger posed by the quake has passed. If you are inside your home when an earthquake strikes, stay inside and get under a heavy table or desk. I would stay away from windows. You wouldn't want glass breaking and shattering on you when it happens. Don't use candles until gas lines are checked. Also, check all areas of your home before using, including chimneys, sewage connections, and especially utilities. Don't tie up phone lines except to report emergencies. Be prepared. Remember that you will need food and water, even for the short term. Keep your family together and stay alert for aftershocks.
But then if an earthquake occurs and you happen to be outside, try stay away from buildings and power lines, and remember that stone and masonry facings can break loose and fall away from upper stories of buildings. If you are in a car, stop safely away from structures, large trees, power lines and other hazards. Stay inside the vehicle.
When shopping for earthquake insurance, ask your trusted insurance agent to help you identify possible repairs and other improvements that will make your home safer and minimize damage. He/she should be able to help you sort all these things out for you so you come prepared when the next tremor strikes again.
Editor's note: If you have any questions or concerns regarding insurance or would like to know more about it, you can call me at (510) 384-5164, visit my website http://www.farmersagent.com/alagumen or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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