Ground shaking

Growing up in earthquake country, I’m more used to the ground shaking than most. My favorite quake was Sylmar in 1971. A young teen, I’d just seen The Exorcist and I was thrown around in my bed for at least a minute and a half. A sliding glass door on a cabinet in my room banged back and forth and I was sure there would be a lot of damage. It turned out there was not. Not at our house anyway. I thought it was weird and fun.

As an adult, I have a much more sober view of earthquakes, but I’m not too afraid of them. I have prepared my house to local building standards, I have water, flashlights and food for several days. My camping stove is accessible. Yes, there can be a lot of damage in earthquakes, but if you prepare you will feel a lot better.

Here are some suggestions for securing your valuable momentos.  Put baby locks on your cabinets so your dishes don’t all slide out and break. Stick museum putty under vases or cherished items you display. Attach your bookcases and televisions to the wall. Don’t put heavy mirrors or pictures over your bed. Have a pair of slippers or shoes under your bed, your glasses in a case on the wall and a flashlight within reach. Assume it will be dark and you will have no power for 2-3 days. Do you need a generator? Do you have heavy work gloves, shoes, safety glasses and dust masks in case you need to help someone else?

Be sure you have a pair of running shoes, water and a few protein bars in the car. Arrange someone out of state all your family members can call to check in with ’cause all local circuits may be busy. Who will get the kids? If you can’t get home do your neighbors have a key to feed your pets?

This week restock your earthquake supplies and review your earthquake drills at work and at home. Read up on the latest recommendations from government agencies for how to prepare. Update emergency contact lists, and make sure you have plenty of water and flashlights/lanterns. Don’t let a good opportunity to prepare go to waste.