According to earthquakes.ok.gov, there were 623 earthquakes in Oklahoma of magnitude 3 or greater during 2016. One of the most damaging natural disasters known to man is the earthquake. This natural calamity occurs when there is a sudden release of energy between two plates in the Earth’s crust giving way to seismic waves. The aftermath of earthquake is severe. Loss of property, damage of building and plains including loss of life are some of the consequences of earthquake. Ask your home designer in Edmond to suggest steps to minimize the damage caused due to earthquake and follow some of the methods mentioned here:
Method One of Three:
How to prevent damage to your home?
i) Analyze the elements outside your home that can cause severe damage:
- Trees, electrical lines, electrical wires and so on.
- Reinforce the foundations surrounding electrical lines and wires so that the chance of these things getting uprooted during earthquake gets minimized.
- If the trees surrounding your house and property have become old and weak, hire professionals to cut down the tree or chop down the branches.
ii)Make necessary repairs to your home:
- Whether your home is located in an earthquake prone area or not, there is no harm in repairing your home at frequent intervals. This is safe for the home dwellers and for your house too. A well maintained house will fetch good resale value.
- Check out the chimneys, walls and foundation as well as the roof tiles. If you think repair is necessary, hire the services of a professional.
- Your home designer in Edmond will be able to tell you how to repair the chimneys, floor tiles and roof. Follow his instructions thoroughly.
iii)Is there any cripple walls? If yes, then add proper support to it:
- Over a period of time, the walls in our house lose their strength. Some of them become too weak and are termed as cripple walls. In case you have one such wall at home add 2×4 cardboard boxes to provide support to the wall.
iv)Build better walls:
- Conventional 2×4 framing beams are sturdy and inexpensive, however, 2×6 beams have increased in popularity due to their added resistance to high winds and earthquakes. Materials other than wood may be used to bolster wall strength; for instance, steel framing and plating are used in above ground storm shelters.
v)Opt for windows with round corners rather than sharp edges:
- Windows with round corners can better bear the brunt of earthquakes and other natural calamities. Windows with sharp edges create pressure points which are more likely to damage the walls.
vi)Restrict the number of furniture items, electrical equipment at home:
- To minimize the effect of earthquake, secure wall hangings, computers and bookshelves with flexible fasteners. For large appliances like water heaters, refrigerators, ovens and washers and dryers, get them bolted down so that the gas and water lines don’t break under pressure.
Method Two of Three:
Review the damage caused by the earthquake
Inspect your home to find out about the intensity of damage caused:
Inspect your home ASAP after the earthquake is over. If you find that the damaged caused is too high and there are chances of walls falling apart any time, evacuate the house. Moreover you need to get rid of the debris as well. If you notice cracks or persistent leaks, have the frame, foundation and plumbing inspected by professionals.
Clean up the spills:
When you inspect your home you will find that medicine bottles have broken causing spills all around the house. You need to clean them immediately so that they do not get in touch with other items and turn them unsafe.
Check your utilities:
Some damage may cause exposed wires or water leaks. It’s wise to switch off the circuit breakers just in case, so you can assess the damage around your home. Water may be shut off at the main from the road.
Method Three of Three:
Preparing for an Earthquake:
Create an emergency plan:
It is ideal to have an emergency plan in place. This will include a map of your house so that you know all the entry and exit points of your house. If the situation so arises you will be able to evacuate the house on a priority basis. Sit in discussion with your home designer in Edmond to have the plan ready.
Have an emergency kit in place:
This kit should comprise of non perishable food items that will last for several days, water bottles and even medical items so that in case of any physical injury, first aid can be offered.
Shut down the utilities in times of an emergency:
The moment an earthquake strikes, switch off the electrical lines and water supply to minimize the risk of electrocution.
Review your home insurance at periodic intervals:
Go through your home insurance policy at regular intervals to ensure that in case of any damage you can seek financial assistance.