What can I expect in my house when an earthquake occurs? How do I identify it? What can be done?

The contents of your home may be damaged and can be dangerous:

  1. Shaking can make light fixtures fall, refrigerators and other large items move across the floor, and bookcases and television sets topple over. IDENTIFY: Look around your house for things that could fall or move.
  2. Ask yourself if your cupboard doors could fly open (allowing dishes to shatter on the floor).
  3. Is TV and stereo fastened down and are shelves fastened to wall? Do you have hanging plants that might fall? Is there a heavy picture or mirror on the wall over your bed?

WHAT CAN BE DONE: You can install door latches, braces and fasteners to fix most of these hazards yourself.

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Image: House Damage from 2011 Central Virginia Earthquake<br />

House Damage from 2011 Central Virginia Earthquake

Damage to a house in Louisa County, Virginia, after a magnitude 5.8 earthquake on August 23, 2011.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
Image: House Damage from 2011 Central Virginia Earthquake<br />

House Damage from 2011 Central Virginia Earthquake

Damage to a house in Louisa County, Virginia, after a magnitude 5.8 earthquake on August 23, 2011.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
Image: House Damage from 2011 Central Virginia Earthquake<br />

House Damage from 2011 Central Virginia Earthquake

Chimney damage to a house in Louisa County, Virginia, after a magnitude 5.8 earthquake on August 23, 2011.

Attribution: Natural Hazards