Think Preparedness while Spring Cleaning

If you dutifully change your smoke detector batteries when you change your clocks for daylight savings time, add one more important item to your spring cleaning list: earthquake preparedness.

The basics:

  • Anchor anything large that might fall over in an earthquake: book cases, a china cabinet, a refrigerator or your water heater.
  • Know which household chemicals you store that are hazardous or could emit toxic fumes if spilled, e.g. ammonia and bleach can be deadly spilled together.
  • Secure important cabinet doors by installing sliding bolts or childproof latches.
  • Place heavy or large objects on lower shelves. Identify glass bottles on bathroom vanities, dresser tops and kitchen counters that may break, as broken glass is a major source of injury following an earthquake.
  • Check to see that chandeliers and ceiling fans are securely attached to the ceiling.
  • Lastly, remember to check the shelf life of any stored emergency water. After five years, it should be replaced - and it may be time to get new water purification tablets. Don’t waste that 50 gallons of water—but don’t drink it either. Use it in the garden.