Home preparedness and retrofit

11Charlie

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After several other threads on the possible big one hitting the PNW it has gotten me thinking. How prepared are we. I'm not talking your preps or your get home bag or even a bug out bag.

What really made me think was how safe is my family at home. Does everyone have a plan on the safest place in the house to be during such an event?

Has anyone retrofitted there house or thought about spending the money to do so. My house was built in 1991 so I know the building codes are tougher now then they were back in 91. Is it worth having a earth quake retrofit done and will it really help to spend the money?

Thinking about the safety of my family these are the things that have come to mind.
 
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Interesting observations. I have a small old farm house remodeled several times. I am getting ready to put a bunch of money into it remodeling preparing for sale next year. Only so much you can do to these old retrofitted places. Even on updated construction, the reinforcement required to retrofit for a 9.0 is going to be cost prohibitive and unrecoverable in sale probably.

If we have that 9.0 nothing will keep most peoples places standing. I am pretty sure that earthquakes are excluded under most current insurance policies. Since my home and property represents my retirement security, I need to find out. E mailing insurance agent now to find out.
 

Joe13

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House was built in 58 so it's built well but a big quake will probably crack it - how much, I have no idea.

What I do want is a good supply of 3/4" plywood and 2x4's in an out building for either building a shelter or shoring up iffy places.

Nails and tools for the job - I can do a lot with a little so it shouldn't be rocket science to stay reasonably comfortable.

Eventually, when my parents get their junk out of the shed I'll move all my hunting and camping gear out there and I know that building will still be standing so I'll have a place to hunker into.

Someday:rolleyes:.
 

Camelfilter

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...What I do want is a good supply of 3/4" plywood and 2x4's in an out building for either building a shelter or shoring up iffy places.

Nails and tools for the job - I can do a lot with a little so it shouldn't be rocket science to stay reasonably comfortable...
DING! Perfect example of brilliance rite there!

We picked up a dozen sheets of cheap ply wall/roof sheathing, both for projects and just to have "in case".

Next up will be a bunch more 2X's. Have a few, but I'm thinking on a good dozen plus. Stored well, they are not going bad, and they're likely not getting cheaper either.

As for nails, have a few pound boxes in the shop. What I really need to get off my duff and get are decent screws by the pound.

Screws are much better than nails (from a security & construction pov), provided you have a good battery driver set & enough spare batteries for it.
 
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11Charlie

11Charlie

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House was built in 58 so it's built well but a big quake will probably crack it - how much, I have no idea.

What I do want is a good supply of 3/4" plywood and 2x4's in an out building for either building a shelter or shoring up iffy places.

Nails and tools for the job - I can do a lot with a little so it shouldn't be rocket science to stay reasonably comfortable.

Eventually, when my parents get their junk out of the shed I'll move all my hunting and camping gear out there and I know that building will still be standing so I'll have a place to hunker into.

Someday:rolleyes:.
That is actually a really good idea Joe. I have looked into earth quake insurance and holy bubblegum they want your first born. I have some materials laying around but need to get some stocked up in the shop where its dry and won't go bad.
 

Camelfilter

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you can buy box's of screws really cheap at wholesale building places. Thank god for generators that way you can charge those batteries back up.
Yup, just gotta get off the duff and swing on by.

Genset, covered.

But nice to have spare batts around, so you don't "have to" fire it up to get stuff done. That way you can fire it up, under other noise cover when it's around, or jury rig up a muffler pit when you dig a sanitation area...

Paint! Don't forget to have some cheapo paint available either. Should you have to sheet off windows or doors, giving the sheathing some paint in a similar shade to the rest of your house would help "curious cats" from looking in on you.
 

Camelfilter

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Oh, and don't forget about tarps. Handy to have anyways, but should an event happen that causes damage to your house, would be handy to set up as a "quickie" fix for weather resistance/liveability until you can get to a more permanent one.

Don't forget a stapler...and staples.
 

Joe13

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If you have a Habitat for Humanity nearby, you can find incredible deals on back-up supplies. It's like a Goodwill for construction materials.
I'll second that. My wife worked as a volunteer there for over a year and told me about all sorts of cool things that went thru there.

I want to say they try to price things at 25-30% of new retail prices.

I've seen entire kitchen cabinets go in and out of there, appliances, hand and power tools, tile, flooring etc.
 

Joe13

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I still need a generator...

It's just towards the bottom of the list with everything else going on in my life.

I would get some 5 gal gas cans and fill my car up a couple times a year so it would stay fresh.

Same with stocking up on 5gal propane bottles - I'd be happier with them in an out building then in the garage. The 2 I do have in my garage already makes me a little nervous and I keep them in a corner of the garage that never gets close to a spark or flame:eek:.
 

Joe13

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This is a good place to mention that there's a really nice 4000 watt generator I saw for sale by a member for $225 a couple days ago. It's in Oregon and to far away for me to go get, but I thought it deserved a mention:). I'd grab it, if I was closer.
I would if I had any cash or a job;):oops:.

There's always another day.

I see them go on sale in the spring and are cheap on CL because the winters done with.

One day I'll be employed:D
 

Camelfilter

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Sta-bil in gas cans does the trick. Still have to rotate them out, but no rush.

Bi-Mart runs specials on the 30lb propane tanks, makes them almost as cheap as the regular sized ones. As for storing them, and gas, you could always build up a simple storage box for the yard.

Bought a few pallet crates off of the Craigslist for ~$15. Turned one into an outdoor storage bin. Took just a few minutes, top is hinged to lift up. But you could fashion up something similar with scraps as well. Waiting to paint up the rest of it over the dry season...

EBC665D8-3086-4CA4-BAE9-05464304101C_zpsvpk8gwhi.jpg
 

CountryGent

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Funny you mention it, because the last month or so I've been working on just that. As with the original post, our home was built in the early-90s, and some upgrades are required. Some totally random thoughts and observations:

  • In light of the potential for a "big one" going down, I agree this is worthwhile. An earthquake we experienced in the early part of this year, while causing no damage, was a reminder of where we are in this world.
  • Securing things that can go "plonk" on humans are a first priority. Examples include bookshelves, water heaters, wood stoves, large appliances, anything over beds, et al.
  • FEMA has an earthquake checklist. It is available <broken link removed>. Hard copies are free too.
  • Oregon has free publications too. Info here.
  • The Red Cross has an earthquake safety checklist here.
  • There are a couple of FEMA publications I've requested, and received in hardcopy, that might be of interest. As I haven't read them yet, I can't be for sure of the overall value. They are: Simplified Seismic Assessment & Seismic Retrofit Guidelines for Detached, Single‐Family, Wood‐Frame Dwellings (FEMA P‐50 and FEMA P‐50‐1). They are available on the intratubes or free in hardcopy.
  • In general, a guide I've found interesting, albeit somewhat dated, is The Survival Home Manual, by Joel M. Skousen (1977).
  • Sta-bil was mentioned in this thread. After many decades of use, I've never had a problem with fuel so treated. So thumbs up to that.
Cheers.
 

jbett98

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Don't forget to zip tie a wrench that fits your natural gas meter valve in case of an emergency.
If using a monkey wrench, adjust it to fit the shutoff valve before it rusts and can't be adjusted to fit correctly.
Same with having a water meter shut off tool nearby.

gas-meter-shut-off.jpg

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcToNkhcJHMKpk4hvXF5g5SacgodAtKk_fh4bW2ETZMwpxS1MPm3.jpg
 
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11Charlie

11Charlie

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Funny you mention it, because the last month or so I've been working on just that. As with the original post, our home was built in the early-90s, and some upgrades are required. Some totally random thoughts and observations:

  • In light of the potential for a "big one" going down, I agree this is worthwhile. An earthquake we experienced in the early part of this year, while causing no damage, was a reminder of where we are in this world.
  • Securing things that can go "plonk" on humans are a first priority. Examples include bookshelves, water heaters, wood stoves, large appliances, anything over beds, et al.
  • FEMA has an earthquake checklist. It is available <broken link removed>. Hard copies are free too.
  • Oregon has free publications too. Info here.
  • The Red Cross has an earthquake safety checklist here.
  • There are a couple of FEMA publications I've requested, and received in hardcopy, that might be of interest. As I haven't read them yet, I can't be for sure of the overall value. They are: Simplified Seismic Assessment & Seismic Retrofit Guidelines for Detached, Single‐Family, Wood‐Frame Dwellings (FEMA P‐50 and FEMA P‐50‐1). They are available on the intratubes or free in hardcopy.
  • In general, a guide I've found interesting, albeit somewhat dated, is The Survival Home Manual, by Joel M. Skousen (1977).
  • Sta-bil was mentioned in this thread. After many decades of use, I've never had a problem with fuel so treated. So thumbs up to that.
Cheers.
That is great info thanks for sharing those links. I have thought about doing some of the upgrades to my house myself over time and as money allows. figure if I can do them then it saves me money and less damage will be done to the house so hopefully less repairs if the big one does hit.
 

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