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Other things you can do to prepare!

Foundation strapping

When an earthquake hits your home can be shaken off its foundation. Strapping and securing your home to its foundation can save it from further damage and increase the likelihood that your home will not experience catastrophic damage.

Costs can range from $4000 - $10,000. If you need help with the costs, grants and loans are available for homeowners.



Not many homeowner insurance policies cover earthquake damage. You may be purchase earthquake insurance through your current insurance provider or through separate insurance company.

Read policy coverage terms carefully as not all earthquake insurance is created equally.

In addition to earthquake insurance you may also want to look into your coverage for landslides if you live in a risk area.


Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

One of the best resources for community preparedness is your local CERT. These teams are a great resource for all things related to preparing for a disaster. These teams are self-organized community members who have taken the initiative to reach out to their neighbors to combine resources, knowledge and responsibilities to prepare their community. 

Join or attend your local CERT. Even better join your local CERT in near your home and where you work, go to school or spend any large portions of your time.

Often these teams run group buys of emergency supplies to secure bulk discounts to lessen the cost of preparing your family for a disaster.


Home preparation (the long haul)

Food and Water – Depending on the scale of an earthquake in the NorthWest many experts recommend families to store two weeks to three months’ worth of food and water.

Toilette – Water lines and drainage systems are likely to be damaged or broken in a large earthquake. Proper disposal or storage of waste is imperative to the health of your family. The cheap and easy way to prepare for waste disposal is have five gallon buckets on hand. More advanced and expensive methods include composting toilets and other mechanical disposal systems.

Shelter – Your home may not be habitable after an earthquake. Keep tents and other shelter supplies on hand as an alternative in case your home is not in condition to house your family.


Get to know your neighbors! Help each other plan. Assign neighborhood responsibilities. Know who may need an extra hand such as the elderly or vulnerable.

Know Your Ground

It might be obvious if you live in the West Hills, but many other homes and neighborhoods are prone to landslides especially in an earthquake.

Liquefaction of the earth can create landslide risks that heavy rains may not. Use the government created map to find your home to asses your risk of a landslide.


Earthquake Activated Gas Shutoff Valve

The dangers of an earthquake are not limited to falling objects. After an earthquake strikes fires will present a real danger to many homes and structures in the area. If your home has a natural gas line consider installing an earthquake activated shutoff valve to reduce the risk of fire after an earthquake. These devices are relatively cheap to purchase and install and could save lives or your home if a gas line is compromised in your home.


Secure things in your house (Great for kid proofing too)

This is perhaps one of the easiest and cheapest things you can do to start preparing for an earthquake. Injuries from falling objects during and after an earthquake can be quickly and cheaply mitigated by securing potential falling objects in your home by strapping, taping and fixing in place these objects. Common items you may want to secure are:


            Free standing furniture




            Water Heaters