Earthquake mitigation for business and home

Do you have a plan in case of an earthquake for home and business?


I was asked yesterday about what could be done to help mitigate looting and damage to businesses after a large disaster and here is my answer:

1. Store large pieces of plywood that can be put up if your windows are broken. You can store them in a back room against the wall and include tools and hardware.

2. Have a metal cage built in your back area to place higher dollar items into. This will not stop looting but it may slow it down. Don't display high dollar items but either boxes or pictures of those items.

3. Increase your backup batteries from 7 amp hour to say 18 amp hour so in the event of a power failure the security system can keep functioning longer.

4. Reprogram the siren time out to sound and then start again on new alarms. Police and Guard service will not respond so make sure you have 120 db sirens installed inside and out which may draw some attention to your shop or business. If your DVR is in a lockbox you may be able to retrieve video of theft and damages that were done to your property. If your NVR or DVR records information to an off site location that is also helpful. If your Internet and power goes down which most likely it will you may want to have backup batteries on your cameras and DVR/NVR systems. These are not just UPS backup because the normal UPS system only backs up the system for a few minutes 5-7 or so.

5. Have the wires from your system installed in conduit and even better ridged threaded conduit so it will be harder to cut the lines. Even now that is a good idea especially for your phone lines that come in from outside and even on the inside. Even now it is best to have a high supervision cellular system installed that will dial out your security signals in the event that your phone lines or internet goes down. The cost of a cellular backup is around $500-600 with a $34 per month charge for the cell service if it dials out over 4000 times a month. If you go with the least expensive unit it is a bit less and the monthly fee is less than $20 per month.

6. Have a dummy DVR and a dummy security panel down low that have lights and wires so they think this is the main system when indeed the real system is higher up in the ceiling. We have several installations where this is common place.

7. Have sufficient insurance and the right type of insurance in case of theft because when an earthquake or other disaster happens my first priority is to my family and then as a CERT Instructor my second priority is to my community. Many of you may have the same type of priorities and may not be able to drive to or even get to where your business is unless you are at your place of business when the disaster strikes. Make sure you have 120 hour kits at your place of business, at home and in your vehicle as well.

8. Another person pointed out that if you live in certain areas the best way to avoid looting is to put a lawn chair out front of your business and sit in the chair and have a shot gun in your lap. This very well may help although if there is wide spread panic because of destruction we will be more concerned with injuries and helping clear the roads and helping people relocate away from dangerous areas.

Police, Medical and Fire will not be responding to the neighborhoods but they are instructed to respond to Schools, Hospitals and Large buildings in the downtown areas. Besides the local fire stations only have 6 firemen on duty at any given time so people will depend on each other and the training they themselves have to get through the first 96 hours or so until FEMA can respond. It used to be 72 hours and that figure will depend on the type of the disaster and how wide spread it is. They are telling us now that it is best to have a 120 hour kit rather than a 72 hour kit.

Contact me or comment below when you have additional suggestions about mitigation. We appreciate all input.