Step 1: Secure Your Space

step-1

Secure your space by identifying hazards and securing moveable items.

Earthquake shaking can move almost anything, even large or heavy items. Imagine your home or workplace being picked up and shaken sideways – what would be thrown around? How can you prevent it?

START NOW by moving furniture such as bookcases away from beds, sofas, or other places where people sit, sleep, or spend a lot of time. Move heavy objects to lower shelves.

Then continue your "hazard hunt" to help identify and fix things such as unsecured televisions,computers,bookcases, furniture, unstrapped water heaters, etc. A comprehensive list of typical items at home or in commercial buildings, with recommendations for how to secure each, is on the menu at right.

Why is this important? Several people died and thousands were injured in the 1994 Northridge earthquake because of unsecured items such as toppling bookcases. According to a study from the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA), 55% of the injuries during this earthquake were caused by falling furniture or objects. Only one percent of injuries were caused by building damage. Other injuries were due to people falling or behaving dangerously. In addition, many billions of dollars were lost due to this type of damage (yes, Billions). Much of this damage and injury could have been prevented in advance through simple actions to secure these contents. This is why we recommend starting this step first.