|Is there a connection? Of course not. Earthquakes don’t care about Covid, and Covid doesn’t care about earthquakes. However, now that we are starting to see the light at the end of the terrible ordeal we’ve been experiencing, it might be time to turn some of our attention to EQ preparedness. |
So, here’s a tip on a subject you might have forgotten about: after a really serious EQ,we have no power – no lights. There are tons of solutions you can find online, but here is a starter: 11 Ways To Light Your Home When The Power Goes Out: https://urbansurvivalsite.com/ways-to-light-your-home-when-the-power-goes-out/
We’ve now installed over 4,200 automatic gas shutoff valves in the SF bay area. Got yours? How about the rest of your neighborhood? Our price in the East Bay is still $275 for a standard installation; slightly higher in other locations. Call or email me. Here’s the valve we use: LittleFirefighter.com
|Don’t Let Your House Go Up in Flames|
No big surprise: major earthquakes cause a good number of house fires. If you’re home when a big quake hits, you go to your gas meter and turn off the gas.
What if you’re not home? Not a problem if you have an automatic gas shutoff valve. It turns your gas off for you.
A lot of you already have one. We’ve now installed over 4,000 valves in the past 15 years in the SF bay area – and other plumbers have done a few as well! The plumbers we’ve partnered with for years do these on Saturdays only – only takes about 30-45 minutes. Pretty painless.
As far as we know, our prices are the best: still $275 for a standard install in the east bay, slightly higher in SF, peninsula, and the valley.
You have one? What about your neighbors, family, friends? Let ‘em know!
Foundation Repair: Don’t Be Hasty
Over the past few years, I’ve run in to this situation: a homeowner, usually at the urging of a contractor, has their foundation “beefed up” or replaced in order to make their home safer for an earthquake.
Historically, foundations, even brick ones, don’t fail in a serious earthquake: homes are usually damaged because they fall off their foundation due to an inadequate or non-existing retrofit – usually a lack of shear panel, bolts holding the mud sills in place, or transfer ties to keep the floor joists from sliding. Except in rare cases, your money (and less of it!) is better spent on a retrofit than a new foundation.
For those who haven’t yet had an automatic gas shutoff valve installed, a reminder that we have two plumbers who do these on Saturdays only. We have now installed almost 4,000 valves over the past 15 years, and our price of $275 for a standard install in the east bay is the best I’ve seen (slightly higher in other places).
Larry Guillot QuakePrepare.com 510-292-6571 email@example.com
Your PG&E manual shut-off valve at your gas meter is probably “frozen.”
When I check the valve during my QuakeConsult, about 75% of the time it is FROZEN in its open position.
This is very important, whether you have an automatic gas shut-off valve or not! If you do not have an automatic gas shut-off valve and you smell gas after a big quake, you need to be able to go out to your meter and turn the gas off at the manual valve.
The photo shows an arrow pointing at the manual shut-off valve, “NW natural riser valve.”
If you do have an automatic gas shut-off valve, after a big quake, you can re-set your valve, allowing gas to flow again. (For directions to reset the Little Firefighter valve, email me).
Then you do what PG&E suggests: walk through your house (especially by the gas appliances), and, if you don’t smell gas, re-light any pilots on gas appliances. If you do smell gas, you need to go back out and turn off your gas at the PG&E manual valve.
You should check your manual valve NOW to make sure it will easily move just a little when you turn it with an ordinary crescent wrench or a gas shut-off tool. You should NOT have to use a plumber’s pipe wrench. When testing, DO NOT turn your gas off – just barely make the valve move. Turn the valve 1/4 of a circle (45°) to turn off.
If your valve is frozen and won’t easily move, call PG&E at 800-743-5000, choose option #3, then #4, and then say “speak to someone” until they transfer you. Tell them their manual valve isn’t operable. This cannot be done on-line.
Haven’t had your in-home EQ preparedness consultation yet? My “QuakeConsult”
I check to see if your retrofit is adequate – will it stay on the foundation after a big quake?
We go through the house and I point out the safest place to be when a big quake hits, as well as what should be secured and how to do it. And much more.
In most locations, it’s $345 for about 2 hours of helpful information to get you prepared.
| A Wake-up Call? |
Imagine if the recent quakes (think: 7.1) had been on the Hayward or the San Andreas faults, instead of a lightly inhabited desert area? How long are we going to complacently keep our heads in the sand and think this isn’t going to happen near us?
Sorry I’m like a broken record, but someone needs to be constantly shouting that you should:
1. Have the adequacy of your retrofit checked (see: quakeprepare.com/quakeconsult )
2. Have an automatic gas shutoff valve installed
(see: quakeprepare.com/quakevalves )
3. Secure tall furniture/wall hangings/appliances
(contact Max: firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Get an emergency back-pack kit for your vehicle(s)
(see samples at:https://tinyurl.com/y6wbby22 )
Be Safe. Larry Guillot