Prepare Your Home For an Earthquake


  1. If your home has a chimney and an attic, nail the plywood to the ceiling joints around the chimney to help protect from falling bricks.
  2. Make sure heavy mirrors, pictures and wall hangings are anchored in studs, not just to the wall. Consider not placing pictures above or near beds.
  3. Anchor lights, plants and other hanging objects in wood beams, rather than through plaster or ceiling panels.
  4. Attach shelving, cabinets and tall dressers to walls. Guardrails across book shelves will keep them from falling out. Don’t put heavy objects on top of shelves.
  5. Replace rigid tubing that carries gas to appliances with approved corrugated metal connectors, which are not as likely to break with severe shaking.
  6. Install latches on cupboards, and cabinets. In China cabinets small pieces of putty can keep collectibles in place. Use straps or hooks on large appliances such as refrigerators.
  7. Know where the gas shut off valve is and have an adjustable wrench available for turning it off, if necessary. Consider installing an automatic shut-off valve.
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