Find your home hazards now, before the shaking starts

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  • Rob Logan, UT
    Jan. 27, 2012 7:56 a.m.

    It is important to secure things. I have been in two major earthquakes and with major damage to buildings (not ours luckily) we didn't have much come out of cupboards. They had those old fashioned hooks things that caught the post. Not a good explanation. For some reason we didn't have things topple. But I really can see how important it would be. I bet if I went to my bookcases right now and tried rocking them a little they would move.
    Thank you for the reminder. Being prepared is better than picking up broken things later. I would rather be happy I did something before hand than wish I had later.
    To get an idea of how things could look go on the internet and type in earthquakes. There were three in southern California that would give you a good idea of what it looks like. There was the San Fernando, Whittier and Northridge earthquakes.

  • JoeDougherty DEM Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 23, 2012 5:30 p.m.


    I appreciate your comment. I know that earthquake preparedness can seem like a daunting or even futile task. I recognize that it can seem useless if everything is going to be destroyed.

    But earthquakes come in all sizes. What if we have an earthquake that is just big enough to cause minor damage or tip over a bookcase? Dropping under a sturdy table can protect you from that. Securing the bookcase to the wall can protect you, as well. Placing hazardous chemicals on lower shelves is an easy preparedness step.

    We have to remember that an earthquake doesn't automatically mean we're hopeless. Only through preparing and following sound principles do we give ourselves the best chance. Thanks for hearing me out. More tips at

    Joe Dougherty, public information officer
    Utah Division of Emergency Management and Be Ready Utah

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    Jan. 23, 2012 7:10 a.m.

    It doesn't make sense to even worry about earthquake proofing a home in Utah. From the foundation up, Utah homes are no where close to being earthquake resistant or safe. Walls, ceilings, floors are falling objects with total structural failure to the point that you must crawl to an exit. Walking or running for an adult or child is like walking on jello pudding and everything it moving around you. Master walking on jello then you can worry about securing your home.

    After living in Japan, the world center of earthquake knowledge, and through earthquakes, the only safe place is outside the home or buildings. Seeing the damage in California and Anchorage Alaska earthquake and whole sections of a city, its buildings, cars, and land is 50 below street level leaves little to doubt that trying to secure a home is useless. Emergency kits? Forget them, get out.

    There is nothing that can secure objects from earthquake movement. The danger of broken gas lines is of little consequence when the home has shifted from its foundation and the main gas line and water line out side is broken. You won't be going back inside to occupy theses homes.