Earthquake Safety in Apartments


An earthquake can happen suddenly and without warning, which is why it is important to take the proper preventative measures in order to protect your home from damage. Earthquake safety in apartments is something that renters should familiarize themselves with in order to protect their belongings, their apartment and themselves, in the event of an earthquake.

Renter's Insurance

  • One often-overlooked component of earthquake safety in apartments is renter's insurance. Adding an additional earthquake insurance policy to your existing renter's insurance coverage will help to pay for the cost of replacing your furniture and personal belongings that are damaged as the result of one. Remember, your landlord's insurance will only cover damage to the apartment itself, not to your possessions inside of it.

Shelves and Fragile Items

  • According to FEMA, most earthquake-related injuries are caused by falling objects. To keep shelves from falling off the wall and your fragile objects from falling off of them, there are several things that you can do. First, take the time to anchor your shelving units to the wall securely, using brackets and nails. Do the same for your freestanding shelves, pictures and wall hangings. Never store very fragile items on the top shelves where they are more likely to fall and break during an earthquake.

Cabinet Doors

  • Your kitchen, bathroom and other cabinet doors should be secured with latches to prevent the doors from opening during an earthquake. This will help keep your possessions inside of the cabinet, protecting them from damage and protecting you from injury. Be sure to obtain permission from your landlord before installing cabinet latches to make sure that doing so will not forfeit your security deposit.

Gas Appliances

  • If your apartment has gas appliances, be sure to ask your landlord how to turn off the gas valve immediately after an earthquake. During an earthquake, gas lines sometimes develop leaks, which can lead to fires and explosions inside of your apartment.

During an Earthquake

  • During an earthquake, there are several important earthquake apartment safety tips to keep in mind. Once an earthquake starts, move to a secure location away from windows, such as under a table against an inside wall. If you are on the second floor, do not use the elevators during or immediately after an earthquake. Do not go outside of your apartment building until the shaking has stopped and it is safe to do so.

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