Earthquake Preparedness for the Nursery

Last week marked the bitter anniversary of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in Northern California. While 25 years later it is still impossible to predict when an earthquake might happen, geologists agree that the chances of ‘The Big One’ striking California in the next thirty years are high. If you live in the Golden State, it is important to know what you can do to prepare for this kind of disaster. As a parent, you might be naturally more worried about the safety of your children. Today we examine how to earthquake proof your baby’s nursery.

There are general recommendations for the way to set up dwellings in seismic active areas that could help minimize the damage caused by a quake. Probably the first thing that comes to mind is anchoring all furniture that might fall down. Specialists recommend mounting any furniture that is taller than it is wide to the walls or floor.

Do not place the crib near the window. Windows and mirrors are usually the first things to break, and you want the baby’s bed as far away from them as possible. It is best to avoid hanging shelves and pictures in the nursery because they represent a falling hazard in an event of a quake. If you would like to hang a shelf anyway, do not put it above the bed and do no place heavy objects on it. Along similar lines, do not set the crib right under a ceiling lamp. The safest place to have the crib in the nursery is near an interior wall.

When your child gets a bit older, start educating him on what to do during an earthquake. Practice ‘Drop, Cover and Hold on’ drills in a fun way and teach your child to stay put until shaking stops. Spend some time educating yourself on what to expect after an earthquake and what items you need to have ready in case of disaster.