The Ring of Fire has been giving us a run for our money lately. The Ring of Fire is a 25,000 mile stretch of coast along the edges of the Pacific Ocean. It is shaped like a horseshoe and is home to active volcanoes and relentless seismic activity. California is a part of this string of 452 volcanoes and this region is home to 90% of earthquakes.
Preparing your home and family for an earthquake is essential to surviving and being able to function during and after an earthquake. You must have clean water supplies on hand at all times. Check the dates of water, food, and medications and mark in your calendar when they must be replaced. Keep kits for your home and car. During an earthquake the pipes in your home can rupture and the city lines are particularly vulnerable. This means, and has meant in the past, a total disruption of water services. Having water to drink for yourself and your pets it critical to surviving the ordeal.
Strapping your water heater is not only important, it is required by state regulation. A home in California will not pass a standard inspection and will not pass a retrofit inspection. Call your plumber or licensed contractor to take care of it immediately. If a water heater rips away from the wall you will have a flood. In addition, and as consequence, a far more dangerous result is that it can disconnect from the gas line. This can be deadly. The state also requires that you have a gas shut-off valve. When the earth shakes, the valve goes into action and the gas no longer runs to the line. In a massive shaker, this can be absolutely life saving.
Strapping your refrigerator, washer and dryer, can prevent floods and dangerous gas leaks. You should always consult a licensed plumber for any work to be done with plumbing lines. ALWAYS consult a licensed plumber or employee of your local gas company when working with gas lines. Make sure to consult the gas company when doing any digging in an area even remotely near gas lines.
It may seem dramatic, but retrofitting your plumbing and gas related appliances and lines can make the difference between life and death in an earthquake and the aftermath. For more information, please visit, http://www.earthquakecountry.org/step1/waterheater.html.