All building owners should consider earthquake safety when designing their buildings. When you take proper steps to protect your building from seismic activity, you will be in the best position to ensure that your building is still standing and that your family is safe when disaster strikes.
A good way to start developing a more earthquake-resistant structure is to make sure that you have a back-up plan in case of a major quake or a particularly large earthquake energy. A backup plan will allow you to build a much stronger structure if a larger earthquake destroys your home. This plan can be adjusted as needed based on the type of earthquake energy, the strength of the ground or any other factors that may be present.
Make sure that your foundation and walls are reinforcing properly to help them withstand the force of an earthquake. Your walls should be at least 15 inches thick, making sure they’re properly insulated to help prevent damage from overheating. The foundation should be on solid concrete that’s completely secure.
Your earthquake safety plan will also include strong windows and doors that can withstand a quake. You will want to be especially careful about them, since they’re key to keeping people inside during an earthquake. Doors and windows should be able to withstand the force by using special weather-proofing and even using shock-absorbent materials to help protect your home.
Your earthquake safety plan should also include the proper techniques for providing for emergency evacuation. A second story of a building should be evacuated on the first quake, especially if it’s on the same level of the original building. There are many options for evacuating the lower level of a building, including water-filled pontoons, slides or airbags that deploy when the ground shifts.
Make sure that your building is rated for earthquake energy as well. Many states require that buildings undergo a seismic test every five years. If your building is not rated for earthquake energy, then it needs to be retrofitted with special earthquake protection.
Keep your earthquake safety plan updated regularly. As the natural disasters in California continue to grow, there will be more earthquake energy around the state. You will need to change your plan frequently to adjust to new conditions or to prevent damage from occurring.
Make sure that you keep your building free of clutter to avoid the damage from falling debris. It is a good idea to hire a professional who can help you assess the current condition of your building, which can help you design an earthquake safety plan.