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  • Prepare Your Home for an Earthquake with These 5 Easy Tips

    I'm not sure where you live, but being born and raised in Southern California - I know one thing; earthquakes can be really dangerous, and even more so than other natural disasters as they're highly unpredictable. Sometimes you need to prepare beyond a bug out bag, and in this article, I'm going to show you how to prepare your own home in case such a disaster does strike.

     

    Earthquake Rubble Prepare your home for an earthquake

     

    As you probably know, the weather department can predict and warn people against certain types of natural disasters such as:

    However, even with advanced technology, we don’t yet have a fool-proof system for determining the locations and magnitudes of upcoming earthquakes.

    Scientists do have a general idea on which areas are most prone to earthquakes – but unfortunately, they can't tell the exact time when the catastrophe will occur.

    So, the only way to minimize loss of life and property during a quake is to prepare beforehand.

    Here are 5 easy tips to prepare your property for seismic activity:

    1) Get your home insured against earthquakes:

    This step is especially crucial if your region is highly susceptible to quakes.

    Depending upon the magnitude, a quake can cause hundreds of thousands (even millions) of dollars’ worth of damage to a property.

    If disaster does strike (scientists suggest that someday, it sure will), your insurance can be an absolute blessing. It can help you to rebuild your home or buy a new home and continue to live life normally. Many insurance policies do not provide earthquake coverage but it may be available as an optional extra.

    If you already have a policy in place, upgrade it so that it covers earthquake damages as well. All the information mentioned in this article can't help you that much if you don't have (or don’t plan to get) earthquake insurance. Please don’t make the mistake of ignoring this step.

    Take a look at the places that have been affected by hurricane Katrina – many people have not been able to rebuild their properties due to lack of funds. Unfortunately, they are forced to live in run-down homes and temporary shelters even years after the cataclysmic event shook their world forever.

     

    2) Make sure that your home has a strong foundation:

    Most new homes are built upon a foundation but many older properties are held in place simply by their own weight. In order for your home to be able to withstand tremors, it must be fixed firmly to the ground – otherwise, it will wobble, crack, and crumble. Also, the walls and roof should be attached strongly to each other. Here are a couple of ways to reinforce the structural integrity of your house:

    1. Prepare your home for an earthquake and anchor bolts Anchor bolts

      Add anchor bolts between the house and its foundation. Steel plates will also do the job. This procedure is not as expensive as you think. Spend a few hundred dollars and prevent your home from crumbling, being overturned, or sliding off during a quake.

    2. Fix cracks in your walls or in the roof (if any).
    3. Brace the cripple wall of your home. A house’s cripple wall is usually its weakest part. (This is the wall between the foundation and the first floor.)
    4. Reinforce chimneys and other attached structures such as garages, joint sheds, etc.

     

    3) Use flexible connectors for gas and water to prevent leaks.

    Gas leaks can be several times more dangerous than the earthquake itself. Invest in an automatic shut-off device (activates upon breakage of connectors) or install a main switch to turn off gas and power supply completely. If your home has any plumbing or electrical faults, get them repaired as soon as possible.

     

    4) Many people ignore this completely – Understand that glass becomes your sworn enemy during natural disasters.

    Pieces of broken glass get strewn about and may cause serious wounds and bleeding. You can easily prevent this by installing a clear, shatterproof film over glass surfaces.

    This way, even if the glass does break – it will be held together by the film.

    Shatterproof films are not expensive at all – they can even be purchased online for a few dollars.

    Installation is quite easy and requires only a few common tools. Not only do the films prevent shattering, but they also keep out harmful UV rays. Sounds like the perfect weekend project, doesn’t it?

     

    5) Pay attention to the layout of furniture within your home:

    Heavy objects such as dressers, water heaters, etc. should not be left hanging or unsecured. Place them close to the ground and anchor them to the wall with bolts. Don’t hang paintings, glass lamps, chandeliers, and other decorative pieces directly above beds and sofas. All cupboards should have safety latches to prevent contents from spilling out. Also, don’t put pesticides, cleaning agents, and other chemicals on top of wardrobes and on high shelves. Think twice before investing in a glass-top table. You should have a sturdy piece of furniture to hide under during an earthquake – a strong wood top table or bed is ideal. A glass-top table may look nice, but in an emergency, it's pretty useless.

    If you’re buying or renting a house, make sure that it complies with the local earthquake regulations. Last but not the least, buy a battery operated radio. I know it's a bit old fashioned but it may be your only source for receiving communication during a quake as power lines and mobile networks are usually down.

     

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    About the Author: J.D. Phillips Runs SurvivalCrackas.com and lives with his family in Southern California. You can follow him on Facebook and download his Guide How to Build the Ultimate Disaster Kit free of charge from his website, linked above!

     

    Earthquake_Blog_Banner Prepare your home for an earthquake

  • Is Prepping on the Decline?

    Stock Market statistics Decline

    There was a time when being prepared for emergencies was a national past time. The Great Depression all but forced people to live within (and less than) their means, and save everything they could. Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, even more people saw the benefits of preparing and began building up supplies. Then there was the stock market crash of 2008, forcing countless Americans to live off what they had. Some had stored up enough with which to subsist until a new job or other means could be found. Many others struggled.

    Then the world was supposed to end in 2012 as predicted by the Mayans. Before the predicted date arrived, more and more people began stockpiling food, water, and gear…just in case. The world still stands, but that didn’t stop countless others from investing even more in emergency prep in the months before the 2015 blood moon tetrad.

    Preppers kept on prepping since then. That is, right up until election day. According to some sources, prepping is on a decline as people let their guard down with Donald Trump about to become president. They trust him to boost the economy, to produce jobs, and make everything awesome. Whether that will happen or not has yet to be seen (fingers crossed). But even if he does make everything awesome, that doesn’t mean we’re done prepping.

    Natural disasters don’t really care how good our economy is. Massive earthquakes, super tornadoes, category 5 hurricanes, and the biggest, baddest snowstorms can be debilitating. Even smaller disasters can leave you without power, water, and other comforts for an extended period of time.

    Family Dinner Decline

    Stocking up for the unexpected is more than just preparing for the stock market to crash (although also important). True, the Dow Jones has never been higher, and the market is looking good. So money might not be as big an issue as it has been in the past. But what about water storage, just in case your water get shut off? Broken water mains and other issues can do that without warning. Will your food storage be enough to see you through a hurricane if you can’t make it to the store? Or what about a way to warm yourself (and your family) when your power goes out during a blizzard? Or will you have sufficient food in your storage to get you by following a job loss until you can get yourself back on your feet? The list goes on.

    There are so many reasons why being prepared is a good idea. Don’t leave your safety and well-being up to fate. Just like any good ship, make sure you have a life boat. Nobody goes out expecting their ship to sink (Titanic, anyone?), but if your good fortunes do spring a leak, make your you have a lifeboat handy.

     

    Disaster_Blog_Banner Decline

  • Resolution to Prepare: Make 2017 the Best Year for Preparedness

    2016 was quite the year. The Cubs won the World Series, another Star Wars movie came out, Brexit, a new president was elected…talk about busy!

    resolution

    But there were other, less exciting things that happened as well. Severe wildfires scorched the country. Hurricane Matthew left devastation in its wake. Tornadoes. Flooding. Contaminated water. These are just a few of the disasters that left their marks on 2016. Other events such as job loss, accident, and injury also affected countless people.

    Perhaps you were one of those affected.

    Year after year, disasters come and life changing events alter the course of countless lives. You know they’re coming, but far too frequently planning is just a thought and the preparations don’t get done.

    Well, this year is different! This year, you’re going to make big strides in your emergency preparedness! But how, you ask, will you do that?

    Easy.

     

    Plan

    Planning in this sense is a verb, which means it involves action. Get out a pen and paper, your phone, tablet, white board, rock and chisel, or whatever it is you use to keep track of important things, and start writing down your emergency plan.

    resolutionYour emergency plan should include information regarding:

    • Evacuation plan
      • How will you get out of your home in an emergency?
    • Escape routes
      • What roads will be the safest to travel on?
    • 72 hour kit
      • Food, water, and other essential items to last you three days.
    • Emergency kits
      • For your home, car, and workplace.

     

    Also, do a quick inventory of your emergency food storage. What foods do you need? Write those down and also make a plan of how to acquire what you need. Will you get it all at once, or will you need to spread it out over the year? Then make a plan for how and when you will get it all. Then, do the same thing with your emergency gear.

     

    Do

    Once your plan is set, follow it. Take some time tonight, during your next Saturday or day off to visit us online at www.beprepared.com or make a trip to the store to procure the items you need. If funds are tight, then your next day off may be too early, but that shouldn’t stop you from putting a little extra away each pay check. This way, you will be able to afford the emergency gear and food you need. Without saving, that may never happen.

     

    Repeat

    Preparing is a cycle. It doesn’t stop after a year or two or even ten. As the years progress, so do your needs. Food may need to be rotated and supplies may need to be restocked. New medications and prescriptions may have been added to your list as well. Reevaluate your emergency food storage and gear every six months to ensure all your prep is up to date and usable for when you need it. If you keep up with your preparedness regularly, replenishing won’t take long, and you’ll also receive the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re prepared for whatever this next year brings.

    Make the resolution today to be prepared for tomorrow.

     

    Disaster_Blog_Banner resolution

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