42 States At-Risk for Earthquake: Residents Should Prepare Now

TALLAHASSEE, FL August 24, 2014 – The 6.0 magnitude earthquake in California today is a stark reminder for the more than 42 U.S. states at-risk for earthquakes to take action to prevent injuries, post-earthquake fires, and property damage before the ground shakes. The nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes offers step-by-step instructions to protect your home and family from earthquakes in this how-to video, Look up, Look Around, Look Down.

2014 USGS National Seismic Hazard Map, displaying intensity of potential ground shaking from an earthquake in 50 years (which is the typical lifetime of a building).

2014 USGS National Seismic Hazard Map, displaying intensity of potential ground shaking from an earthquake in 50 years (which is the typical lifetime of a building).

Look Up

1.Support ceiling fans and light pendants with the use of bracing wire secured to a screw eye embedded at least an inch into the ceiling joist.

2.Brace masonry chimneys back to the roof joists or reinforce roof sheathing to protect the home from falling masonry.

Look Around

3.Anchor the tops of bookcases, file cabinets and entertainment centers to one or more studs with flexible fasteners to prevent tipping.

4.Secure loose shelving by screwing into the cabinet or with museum putty placed at each corner bracket.

5.Secure china, collectibles, trophies and other shelf items with museum putty.

6.Install a lip or blocking device to prevent books or other articles from falling off shelves.

7.Secure televisions, computers and stereos with buckles and safety straps that also allow easy removal and relocation.

8.Install latches on cabinet doors to prevent them from opening and spilling out their contents.

9.Hang mirrors, pictures and plants using closed hooks to prevent items from falling.

10.Cover windows with approved shatter-resistant safety film to protect against broken glass.

Look Down

11.Ensure appliances have flexible gas or electrical connections.

12.Strap the top and bottom of a water heater using heavy-gauge metal strapping secured to wall studs.

13.Locate your gas shutoff valve and ensure you know how to turn off the gas supply to your home with the use of a suitable wrench. (see video)

14.Relocate flammable liquids to a garage or outside storage location.

For more home, business, and family safety tips visit www.flash.org or QuakeSmart.

Technical information derived from FEMA document E-74 Reducing the Risks of Nonstructural Earthquake Damage.


Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)®, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is the country’s leading consumer advocate for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and manmade disasters. FLASH collaborates with more than 120 innovative and diverse partners that share its vision of making America a more disaster‐resilient nation including: BASF, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Florida Division of Emergency Management, The Home Depot®, International Code Council, Kohler® Generators, National Weather Service, Portland Cement Association, RenaissanceRe, Simpson Strong-Tie®, State Farm™, USAA® and WeatherPredict Consulting Inc. In 2008, FLASH opened the interactive weather experience StormStruck: A Tale of Two Homes® in Lake Buena Vista, FL. Learn more about FLASH and gain access to its free consumer resources by visiting www.flash.org or calling (877) 221- SAFE (7233). Also, get timely safety tips to ensure that you and your family are protected from natural and manmade disasters by subscribing to the FLASH blog – Protect Your Home in a FLASH