Natural disasters have been riddling the country lately, and the deaths and destruction have been devastating.
Most people don’t prepare for natural disasters. It’s easier to think they won’t happen to us.
But here in Seattle, the chances of a natural disaster are good, particularly the chances of an earthquake.
The Puget Sound area experienced a 6.8 earthquake in 2001, a 6.7 in 1965, and a 6.7 in 1949, and an earthquake of a stronger magnitude may be on the horizon.
Seattle sits on the Cascadia subduction zone, and according to The Atlantic, the chances of a magnitude-8 earthquake occurring in the next 50 years is 17 to 20 percent.
According to the New Yorker, the odds of a big Cascadia earthquake happening in the next fifty years are roughly one in three, and the odds of the very big one are roughly one in ten.
No one can predict exactly if and when an earthquake will happen in the Seattle area, but given all we’ve seen lately, the old idiom, “It’s better to be safe than sorry,” rings especially true.
Knowing how to protect yourself and your family is crucial, and ensuring your home is earthquake safe can greatly increase your chances of surviving a big one.
If an earthquake does come, we’d like to reduce the amount of havoc it wreaks on our community..
So, here are 4 ways to protect your home from an earthquake in Seattle, WA:
- Identify and Attend to Repairs
Make sure to stay current on repairs and maintenance. Regularly inspect your walls, foundation, roof tiles, and chimney for anything faulty. If you see something, have a professional fix it right away.
- Retrofit your Home
Have cripple walls (short wood stud walls that enclose a crawl space under the first floor) braced and the foundation bolted to prevent your home from being displaced from its foundation during an earthquake.
- Assess Potential Hazards
Check the area surrounding your home for potential hazards such as old or leaning trees, electrical wires, or power lines. Consider removing any hazardous trees.
And if electrical wires or power lines are a concern, have your ceiling and foundation reinforced with concrete and plywood sheathing (if they’re not already).
- Install Windows with Round Corners
Windows with rounded corners are a lot less likely to crack during an earthquake.
We’re hoping that a disastrous earthquake isn’t actually on the horizon, but if it is, these tips should help keep you safe.