Week 13 – When the Earthquake Strkes will your Family and Pets be safe in your home?

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The time to prepare is NOW – once the big one STRIKES it will be too late.  Your family is counting on you! 

Answering your Earthquake Preparedness Questions

By Jackie Kloosterboer – Speaker, Trainer, Author – My Earthquake Preparedness Guide 

QUESTION:  Will your family and pets be safe in your home during and after an Earthquake?

We spend considerable time in our homes having fun with our families, having meals watching movies, doing chores and of course sleeping. That is why we need to make sure our homes are ready for an earthquake.  We need to protect our families!
Week 11 we identified our kitchen is likely the most dangerous room in our house and Week 12 the focus was securing that heavy furniture so it won’t topple over and injure your family and pets.

This week we are going to look at the rest of your house and identify some things you need to do to better protect your family and pets from earthquakes.

Often an earthquake will feel like the rocking motion you feel on a boat in rough waters. With that motion in mind go room to room in your house or apartment and identify what would come crashing down to the floor in an earthquake.

This is an easy way to identify what you need to do to make your home safe for your family and pets. Some items will just need to be moved to lower shelves, some items will need to be secured, while other items may take some extra work to keep them in place during an earthquake.

Doing an Earthquake Preparedness In-Home Walk-Through we went into their son’s Adam’s bedroom. The first thing that caught my eye was on a high chest of drawers beside his bed were 2 – 10 lb. weights. When I saw them placed there beside his bed I cringed.  If those fall off and landed on his head during an earthquake that would not be good. My recommendation – keep them on the floor.  That is a simple fix that could save a life. A critical eye can save lives. What will your critical eye spot in your home?
Another potentially dangerous item are those pictures you have hanging on your walls throughout your home. If you use a nail to hang pictures like most of us do, that nail could easily pop out when the ground starts moving. Not only will your picture be damaged as it crashes to the floor –the broken glass could seriously injure family and pets. 

 To prevent pictures from falling you need to make sure you use the proper hook and that the hooks are securely attached to the stud in the wall. When you hang a light picture using a hook make sure to push the hook closed so the picture cannot shake out of the hook when the ground starts moving.  

For heavier pictures and mirrors use 2 or 3 nail picture hooks.  Don’t forget to check the strength of string used to hold your pictures based on the size and weight of your picture. A heavy picture will need a heavier cord when hanging.

If you are unsure about the process or the best hooks to use ask for help at the Hardware Store. Never make a guess – you want to be sure you are doing the right thing to better protect your family and pets.

When I moved to Vancouver I decided to lease an apartment in Yaletown.  The movers were carrying my furniture into the apartment and setting it up. They brought my bed in and I walked into the bedroom and my heart sunk. My bed was right in front of the window. 

The sad fact was – that was the only place it could go in the tiny bedroom. What was I going to do? 

I could see the headlines on the 6pm news – Vancouver Emergency Planner killed by broken glass during the earthquake.  This was not looking good.

I thought about if for a while and decided the best I could do to protect myself and Sophie my cat was to go out and buy heavy curtains and hang those over my window.

Every night when I went to bed I would shut the blinds, close the curtains and cross my fingers that tonight would NOT be the night for an earthquake.  I was fortunate; we didn’t have an earthquake while I lived in my tiny apartment.

Was what I did perfect – no far from it? My bed should not have been under the window. But by not having a choice I found a way to better protect myself and my cat.  

The point is – You will never get everything perfect but there are always steps you can take to better protect you, your family and pets. Keep moving forward and take those steps to better protect you, your family and pets when the big one strikes.  Your family is counting on you!

You’re Task for Week #13

  1. Go room to room with the rocking motion a boat would make in stormy seas and identify what could come crashing down.
  2. Identify what you need to do to make that room safe and TAKE ACTION. 
  3. Make sure your pictures are properly hung on the wall

      Week 14 we will look at appliances and the outside of your home and what you need to be aware of to better protect you, your family and pets.
      Have questions – don’t hesitate to ask. Until next week – Stay safe and make sure you, your family and pets are prepared for earthquake or any disaster that may come your way. .


      Jackie Kloosterboer 

      Jackie Kloosterboer – BIO

      Jackie Kloosterboer has been leading the way in earthquake preparedness for 2 decades presenting more than 100 Earthquake Preparedness sessions each year to a variety of groups and businesses. She is often interviewed by a variety of media outlets across Canada as she promotes the importance of earthquake and disaster preparedness.
      As an Emergency Preparedness Specialist and an Instructor with the Justice Institute of BC Jackie travels across Canada teaching people how to respond to disasters to help those who have been displaced. Throughout British Columbia Jackie has taken on leadership roles assisting those who have been impacted by disaster.

      Contact Jackie to speak at your next group or business event to help you, your family, your staff and pets get prepared for earthquakes or whatever disaster comes your way. Jackie will lead you through the necessary steps helping you identify what is important to you and your family or business.  

      Contact Jackie with any questions or to book her for your next event at jackie@survive-it.ca or call (604) 355-2414

      Jackie is available for:

      • ·       Earthquake – Disaster Preparedness Presentations
      • ·       Preparedness Plans
      • ·       In-Home Walk-Throughs
      • ·       Preparedness Kits
      • ·       Media Interviews

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