Preparing a Home for an Earthquake

Preparing a Home for an Earthquake

December 26, 2018

Earthquakes can happen anytime and anywhere here on the West Coast. While you cannot usually predict their occurrence, you can at least prepare your property so it is capable of withstanding an earthquake if and when one does occur.

Here are a few tips from home inspectors in Fresno, CA to help you prepare your home for an earthquake.

Know the age of your home

One important piece of information you should know about your home as part of your earthquake prep is the home’s age. The older your home is, the more vulnerable it is likely to be when it comes to potential earthquake damage, as the framing and other structural elements of the home will weaken over time. If you have framing structures that are not anchored to the foundation, have exposed masonry walls that aren’t reinforced or have post-and-pier foundations that aren’t braced, your home is going to be much more susceptible to earthquake damage.
It can be difficult to determine the age of your home if you are unfamiliar with architectural design and do not have access to any documentation that would tell you when the house was built, so it’s important to work with home inspectors who can give you a good estimate on when the property was built based on its design and structural composition, while also indicating which areas of your home are potentially vulnerable.

Removing potentially dangerous items

If you have any pieces of furniture or anything mounted on your wall that could potentially cause serious injury if it were to fall over or come off the wall during an earthquake, you may want to remove these items from your home. In fact, according to FEMA, it is often the items that are in the home that are more dangerous than the structure itself during earthquakes. Therefore, you should either reinforce all these unsecured objects or take them down so you are not needlessly putting yourself at greater risk during a disaster scenario.

Gas utilities

If you use gas to heat your home or have any gas utilities inside your home, you should know that damage from earthquakes could potentially cause a gas leak. Therefore, you should talk to your natural gas provider about installing flexible connectors if you don’t have them already. These types of connectors are more earthquake-proof and help reduce the risk of gas line components detaching.


While this isn’t something you can do to your house to protect it, per se, it’s still an important step to ensure you’ve protected your investment. You should make sure that you have insurance protection that would cover you in the event of an earthquake. Many homeowner’s insurance policies in California do not have earthquake coverage, meaning you may have to purchase that policy separately.

For more information about preparing your home for potential earthquake damage, we encourage you to reach out to WIN Home Inspection Fig Garden today. Our home inspectors in Fresno, CA look forward to hearing from you and helping you understand the ways in which your property may be vulnerable during earthquakes or other natural disasters.

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