January 22, 2019 | Barb Huntley
Living in Alaska means many things, but for this blog, it means you live in an earthquake-prone area. Alaska gets thousands of earthquakes a year, many you may not even feel. Since you know that you live in an earthquake zone, you should have your home designed to withstand even the harshest of earthquakes, such as the one that hit us in November.
 
Check for Weaknesses – Your home is more vulnerable to damage if it has a weak structure. Any homes older than 30 years should be checked by a professional who can review the seismic resistance of your home. Building codes have changed over the years for the better, making homes and buildings required to be built to withstand earthquakes but old houses did not have the same regulations to follow. These outdated regulations put old homes and the people inside them at at risk during an earthquake.

Secure Large Objects – All large objects such as dressers, cabinets, appliances, bookcases and light fixtures should be secured to either the wall or floor. Any unsecured objects are at risk to move, break or fall when an earthquake hits, causing damage and possible safety hazards.  
 
Strap Your Water Heater – This is to save you from costly damage that can occur if your water heater is knocked over. You can learn how to do this on your own or hire a professional. It is required by law, by the state of Alaska, so whoever installed your water heater most likely also installed the straps. But, now is the time to go double check!
 
Modify Your Gas Meter – Install earthquake gas shut off valves to protect your home against gas leaks when your pipelines rupture. This valve will automatically shut off your gas when an earthquake of sufficient magnitude hits your home. 
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