You’ve moved into a great new pad, unpacked your boxes and hung your artwork. Now you can sit back and relax. Wait! Not quite – check out these 5 tips to prepare your new LA home for an earthquake (hey, they happen!) or other disaster.
- 1. Program your mobile phone with local emergency contacts – If you dial 911 from a mobile phone it connects to the California Highway Patrol (CHP). While they can definitely help you in an emergency situation, its a great idea to program a local police precinct’s phone number into your phone as well. In the event of a natural disaster, they will have local information for you about shelters, street closures and even power outages. You can use this link to locate your local LAPD precinct and associated contact info.
- 2. Mount tall furniture to the wall – Pick up some “L” shaped brackets from your local hardware store and mount the top of bookshelves, entertainment centers and dining room hutches to the wall. These mounts are easy to install and can prevent taller pieces of furniture from falling incase there is a big jolt. If you buy your furniture new, most tall pieces will come with mounting equipment.
- 3. Store 72 hours worth of bottled water and canned goods – It is always a good idea to have some extra water and non-perishable food on hand incase pipes in your neighborhood rupture or the power is out long enough to disrupt super market computer systems. FEMA recommends having enough food and water for 72 hours tucked away in a closet.
- 4. Invest in a fire extinguisher – Sometimes things may get a little too hot, so invest in a fire extinguisher. In some cases, providing proof that you have these can also lower the rates on your rental insurance.
- 5. Purchase insurance – Purchasing renter’s insurance may be required by your landlord, but the benefits can far outshine the inconvenience. When purchasing liability rental insurance ask your agent what additional policy options you can add. It might be just a few bucks more per month to have your policy cover personal property. Also, did you know that earthquake insurance is actually run by a state agency? The California Earthquake Authority is a publicly managed organization created by the California state legislature that plans for all things earthquake related. For about $10 per month you can purchase earthquake insurance for around $25,000 worth of coverage for your rental unit.
We admit that disaster planning isn’t any fun, however, the little time it takes to make a basic plan and buy some supplies could help you out tremendously in case of emergency. As the old saying goes, better safe than sorry, right?