FLASH Cards - Florida Alliance for Safe Homes

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FLASH Cards - Florida Alliance for Safe Homes

FLASHcardsEarthquakeProtect your Home


EarthquakeThe majority of the United States is susceptibleto an earthquake of some magnitude; not justthe West coast. The central Mississippi Valley,parts of the East coast and the US Territories arealso at risk. Below are steps you can take beforean earthquake to protect your family and hometoday.Know Your Family’s Risk■■Determine if your home is in a seismic zone by visitingwww.fema.gov/hazard/earthquake/hazards.shtm or calling yourlocal building department or emergency management office.Know Your Home’s Risk■■Secure a licensed contractor or structural engineer to performan assessment of your home if you answer yes to any of thequestions:• Was the home built before 1985?• Is the home built on a raised basement or crawl spacefoundation?• Is the home on a hillside?• Do you have occupied space above a garage?■■Check your local building department or emergency managementoffice to determine if they provide seismic assessments or couldrecommend credible referrals to conduct a seismic assessment.Key Retrofit Activities■■Complete the following retrofit activities with a licensed,bonded and insured contractor:• Brace the “cripple walls” of wood framed crawl spaces byadding plywood or diagonal sheathing to the stud walls.• Connect the home to the foundation by properly installinganchor bolts and steel plate washers.• Brace the narrow wood frame walls around garage doors withplywood panels and/or steel straps.• Strengthen unreinforced masonry walls by bolting the walls toa new interior steel frame.Protect your home in a FLASH withthe Federal Alliance for Safe Homes!www.flash.orgtoll-free 1-877-221-SAFERevised 3/13


FLASHcardsEarthquakePrepare your Family


EarthquakeEarthquakes strike with no warning, leaving manyhomeowners and families unprepared for injuriesand property loss. Below are some tips to helpsafeguard your family against earthquakes.Prepare■■Assemble disaster survival kits to last at least 72 hours for eachperson in the household.■■Choose a location where family members will meet if separatedduring the earthquake. Designate an out of town relative that familymembers can call or text.■■Plan and hold earthquake drills with your family during a “GreatShakeOut” earthquake drill (visit www.ShakeOut.org).■■Consider purchasing earthquake insurance.■■Consider taking Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) orAmerican Red Cross training.Survive■■Keep calm. Expect the earthquake to last from a few seconds to afew minutes.■■If indoors, Drop, Cover and Hold On. Drop down to the floor andtake cover under a sturdy desk, table or other piece of furniture oran interior wall to protect your head and back from falling objects.Cover your head with your arms while holding onto the furnitureand keep your position until the shaking stops.■■If outdoors, move into an open area away from trees, buildings,utility wires, signs, or anything that may fall on you. Stay thereuntil the shaking stops.Recover■■Check for injuries and administer first aid if possible. Don’t moveinjured persons unless they are in immediate danger.■■Use TV, radio, or internet to gather emergency information andinstructions.■■Check utilities for gas and water leaks, or broken electricalconnections. Be prepared to turn off utilities in the event they aredamaged or leaking.■■Clean up medications, cleaning products, or flammable liquidsimmediately.■■Open cabinets carefully, to avoid objects falling out.■■Be aware of aftershocks.Protect your home in a FLASH withthe Federal Alliance for Safe Homes!www.flash.orgtoll-free 1-877-221-SAFERevised 3/13


FLASHcardsEarthquakeProtect your Contents


EarthquakeDuring an earthquake, home furnishings andcontents can collapse or fall and cause injury.Keep your family safe by following these steps:Look Up, Look Around, Look Down.Look Up■■Support ceiling fans and light pendants with the use of bracingwire secured to a screw eye embedded at least an inch into theceiling joist.■■Brace masonry chimneys back to the roof joists or reinforce roofsheathing to protect the home from falling masonry.Look Around■■Anchor the tops of bookcases, file cabinets and entertainmentcenters to one or more studs with flexible fasteners to preventtipping.■■Secure loose shelving by screwing into the cabinet or withmuseum putty placed at each corner bracket.■■Secure china, collectibles, trophies and other shelf items withmuseum putty.■■Install a lip or blocking device to prevent books or other articlesfrom falling off shelves.■■Secure televisions, computers and stereos with buckles andsafety straps that also allow easy removal and relocation.■■Install latches on cabinet doors to prevent them from openingand spilling out their contents.■■Hang mirrors, pictures and plants using closed hooks to preventitems from falling.■■Cover windows with approved shatter-resistant safety film toprotect against broken glass.Look Down■■Ensure appliances have flexible gas or electrical connections.■■Strap the top and bottom of a water heater using heavy-gaugemetal strapping secured to wall studs.■■Locate your gas shutoff valve and ensure you know how toturn off the gas supply to your home with the use of a suitablewrench.■■Relocate flammable liquids to a garage or outside storagelocation.Protect your home in a FLASH withthe Federal Alliance for Safe Homes!www.flash.orgtoll-free 1-877-221-SAFERevised 4/13

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