You may have noticed the recent rise in earthquakes making headlines – in the past few weeks there have been earthquakes in Albania, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico. AEI’s Senior Seismic Team Project Manager, Matt Fontanesi, has a few tips for earthquake preparedness. These easy tips can be completed before the end of the day!

  1. Have a family agreement on who-calls-who in the event of an earthquake. Daytime and nighttime responses should be different. Communication can be disrupted due to damaged infrastructure and phone networks can get overloaded. If possible stick to texting. Have one contact that lives outside your geographic area that you can update, and let that person use social media to communicate to the rest of your social circle to indicate your safety status.
  2. Pick a meeting place if it happens during the day. Probably your youngest child’s school. Have an idea of mobility and accessibility: if the roads are impassable, walking downhill is easier than uphill. Public schools, particularly ones with large gyms, are typically designed as post-disaster shelters with a higher standard of design. Look up your local shelter here:
  3. Emergency kits are cheap and readily available. If you’d rather make your own, start a duffle bag with an old pair of running shoes, a hoodie, a bottle of water, and some energy bars (or another food source that won’t expire.) Store in the trunk of your car.
  4. At home, strap your hot water tank to a wall. If it breaks, not only will you have 40-80 gallons of scalding water to deal with but the pressurized water line feeding it is now broken.
  5. Keep a portable phone charger with a charging cord in your glove box.
    Everything above will cost you between $100-$300 depending on the size of your family. That’s a low cost for peace of mind, and much cheaper than trying to figure it out during a disaster.

AEI’s Seismic Risk Team analyzes the risk of a building’s structural failure potential due to the vibratory motion caused by a seismic event. Knowing the seismic risk of your property is important in avoiding future expenditures. If you have any questions about earthquake preparedness or AEI’s Seismic Risk Analysis services, contact

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