Prepare your home for an earthquake

Couch and lamps in living room

Prepare your home for an earthquake to keep you, your items, and your home safe. 

  • Place large and heavy objects on lower shelves
  • Fasten tall furniture to the walls
  • Store breakable items, such as glass jars and china, in low closed cabinets with latches
  • Hang heavy items, such as pictures and mirrors, away from beds, couches, or anywhere people sit
  • Anchor overhead lighting fixtures securely to the ceiling
  • Know the locations of electric fuse or circuit breaker box, water service shut-off, and natural gas main shut-off as you may need to turn them off after the earthquake
  • Purchase earthquake insurance

Tips on how to prepare from partners:

Prevent damage to your home's structure

  • Consider hiring a professional engineer to evaluate your building, and be sure to ask about home repair and strengthening tips for exterior features, such as porches, front and back decks, sliding glass doors, canopies, carports, and garage doors
  • Check to see if your house is bolted to its foundation to minimize structural damage during an earthquake
  • Bolt down or reinforce your water heater and other gas appliances, using flexible connections. Your water heater may be a source of clean water after an earthquake, as long as it hasn’t been damaged. Strapping the water heater to the wall will keep it upright and keep pipes from rupturing during a quake. Replace metal piping with flexible connectors where possible