by: lkaye
Thursday 5th , 2012
print RSS

So, last post I was just at the beginning of figuring out how to better prepare my family for the next “big one.”  Following the Earthquake County Alliance’s 7 steps to earthquake safety, I decided to go for the first step of identifying potential hazards in the home and begin to fix them.  Of course, as a mother of a very active 9-month old, pretty much everything in our house could be viewed as a potential hazard, especially things like the staircase and phone cords.  I checked back with the ECA’s website to get a better [[wysiwyg_imageupload::]]understanding of what could be hazardous in an earthquake, since I imagined that phone cords weren’t on their list.

275 Fortunately, the task was not as overwhelming as I thought it might be, although as a renter, I did come across some challenges.  Here’s a list of some of the items I tackled:

Water Heater: Strapping your water heater is a pretty standard practice but what I didn’t know was that many water heaters are not strapped correctly, and there have been changes in the recommendations as a result of the Northridge Earthquake in 1994.  Fortunately, our water heater was replaced about a year and a half ago after an unpleasant few days of cold showers, so I was pretty confident it was going to check out okay, and it did.  Yes!

Bookcases:   We don’t actually have very many of these to worry about currently- last year we moved them all to the garage to make room for our daughter - the only one we have out is low and filled with gigantic Art History books from my college years.  That thing isn’t going anywhere. 

Kitchen Cabinets:  Since we rent, I am not sure if I can install child locks that screw in.  I am researching non-screw options, but in the meantime, I did put in rubberized shelf liners, which will help to keep glasses and plates from sliding about.

Wall Hangings/Art/Photos:  Another challenge as renters is not wanting to add bigger and more holes to the walls.  However, the Command Strips by 3M are genius.  They are easily removed but can really help secure pictures to the wall.  I also looked around and rearranged some pieces so that there wouldn’t be any heavily framed glass objects falling on us while we were in bed or on the couch.

These seemed like the main items that could be hazardous in our home.  We don’t have a lot of loose items on tabletops or big file cabinets or anything.  I did take a look to make sure that there wasn’t anything large that could fall and potentially block a doorway or exit- we were in the clear there.

Step one, “Securing Your Stuff” is complete and I have to admit I am feeling pretty good about it.  Of course there is always more to be done, but this was a good start.  Next time: Step 2: Make A Plan.


Blog Entry by:

Lauren Kaye, Senior Operations Manager, has worked at Kidspace Children’s Museum over four years.   Her current focus includes safety, facilities management, exhibits, and technology.  Her favorite exhibit at the museum is the Observation Beehive.