TERMS TO KNOW
Aftershock – One of many earthquakes that often occur during the days to months after some larger earthquake has occurred.
Epicenter – The location directly above the focus, or place where an earthquake originates.
Richter Magnitude Scale – A scale used to express the total amount of energy released by an earthquake. Values are typically between 1 and 9, and each increase of 1 represents a 32-fold increase in released energy.
- Fasten shelves, bookcases, and other tall furniture securely to wall studs.
- Brace or anchor high or top-heavy objects.
- Secure items such as televisions and computers.
- Install strong latches or bolts on cabinet doors to prevent contents from flying out during the quake.
- Move large or heavy objects and fragile items to lower shelves where they are less likely to fall or break.
- Store breakable items such as bottled foods, glass and china in low, closed cabinets with latches and on bottom shelves.
- Hang heavy items such as pictures and mirrors away from beds, couches, and anywhere people sit.
- Brace overhead light fixtures.
- Secure water heaters and gas appliances by strapping them to the wall studs and bolting them to the floor.
- Install flexible pipe fittings to avoid gas or water leaks.
- Repair any deep cracks in ceilings or foundations.
- Check to see if you house is bolted to its foundation.
- Consider having your building evaluated by a professional structural design engineer who can give you advise on how to reduce potential damage.
- Earthquakes are not covered under standard homeowners’ insurance policies. Consider purchasing earthquake insurance.
Office of Fire & Emergency Services
C. SCOTT VANDERHOEF GORDON WREN JR
County Executive Director