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How can you prepare for an earthquake?

While you never really know when or if an earthquake will rock your building or home, you can take action to prepare and increase the likelihood of safety during an incident. One of the first things recommended by Atlantic Safety is that you buy or build a home that is solid. Working with a contractor to ensure your home is built to proper standards and codes is a good idea.

Once your home is built, you can do some things to promote safety inside. Begin by bolting or anchoring heavy pieces of furniture or tall cabinets and shelves. Do the same with large wall hangings, such as mirrors or paintings. Anchoring and bolting reduces the chance that furniture will topple over onto a person during an earthquake. You might also want to pay attention to what items you store on higher shelves for the same reason.

Because earthquakes can shift all types of items, it's a good idea to keep volatile items away from each other. For example, never store gasoline cans near a furnace, because an earthquake might cause the cans to move near the furnace and start a disastrous fire.

Maintain your home by checking the foundation, walls, support beams and other critical elements on a regular basis. If needed, consider seeking professional help to assess needs and make repairs to your home so it is better supported during an earthquake.

If your home is damaged during an earthquake or any other natural event, but you feel like poor or faulty construction increased the damage, then you might have a construction defect claim. Speaking with a lawyer can help you understand your options and whether you have a case to proceed with.

Source: Atlantic Training, "Earthquake Safety Tips a Comprehensive Resource," accessed May 13, 2016

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