5 Ways to Prepare a Home for Earthquakes

Earthquakes are known to occur across California. If you rent or own downtown San Diego real estate, the following steps can help you protect your home and belongings if an earthquake occurs.

1. Make Structural Updates

Updating your home with reinforcements is essential if you want to make your home more earthquake-resistant. Reinforcements like anchors can secure structures that might cause injuries or damage. For instance, unsecured chimneys are reinforced with sheathing to keep the structure intact during an earthquake. To determine which types of reinforcements are best for your home, consult a professional contractor in your local area.

2. Secure Small Items

To protect your glass items during an earthquake, store the items inside cabinets, and use latches to secure the doors. You can also prevent broken glass in the home by securing knick-knacks and other display items. Use furniture-safe putty to secure display items to tables and other surfaces, and use bolts to secure tables to the floor or wall.

3. Fasten Heavy Furnishings

Heavy furniture like dressers, bookshelves, and TV cabinets can tip over during an earthquake, causing significant damage to your home and personal belongings. To prevent larger items from tipping over, attach heavy furnishings to the wall using long bolts. The bolts must be screwed into a wall stud to remain in place during an earthquake. Use a stud finder to easily identify wall studs, and opt for screws that are three to four inches long to keep heavy items secure.

4. Update Shut-Off Valves

Gas and water connections can easily be damaged during an earthquake, but there are devices that can help you prevent leaks. To prevent natural gas and propane leaks, opt for a shutoff valve that automatically turns the gas off when a leak is detected. You should also install shut-off valves on each supply line entering your home and install a main shut-off valve for both water and gas outside the home. A main shut-off turns off the supply of water or gas coming into your home to quickly eliminate leaks. Your utility company or a private contractor can help you install shut-off valves.

5. Review Your Insurance

Check your insurance policy to make sure earthquake damage is covered, and update your policy anytime the estimated value of your home increases. Insurance is also available to renters. Renter’s insurance covers the cost of replacing valuable and personal belongings if they are damaged. If you aren’t sure whether earthquake damage is covered by your policy, call the agent to ask about your policy coverage. Preparing for an earthquake is a multistep process, but with the right measures you can prevent most types of significant damage.

Before you should become too concerned about prepping a home for earthquakes, first you need to find the perfect real estate. Gaslamp, Little Italy, and East Village are just a few of the great neighborhoods to check out in downtown San Diego. Get in touch with the reliable agents at 92101 Urban Living at 619-649-0368 to see the latest listings.

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