Home Earthquake Preparedness Resources

A companion to Matt Springer's talk, Home Preparedness in Earthquake Country

This website offers additional information about preparations to take around the home to substantially reduce the chances of suffering injury or damage in an earthquake. 

Presentation schedule:  Check here for an up-to-date schedule of planned presentations at UC San Francisco and branches of the SF Public Library

Also check out the QuakeTips blog, where I occasionally post articles and tips about earthquake preparedness.

Matt's preparedness categories

Crucial:  Bed placement, emergency supplies

Strongly recommended:  “Maze” picture hooks, brace tall bookcases, secure stereos/computers, shelf lips

Recommended:  Quake-resistant cabinet latches, earthquake insurance

Nice if possible:  Secure in general, stick down loose objects



Photo galleries

For a review of the basic strategies described in the talk, start with the "Basic Precautions" review.  If you have attended one of these talks, you already have a basic idea of the preparations to take and can skip to the "Additional Resources" page, which shows additional real-life examples of solutions for items that are less straightforward to secure.

(Sorry, these may be maddeningly slow with a dial-up internet connection.)

Basic Precautions


Additional Resources


Emergency Supply kit checklist:  Did you not catch everything on the list?  Print it here.

San Francisco mandatory soft story building retrofit ordinance - background and financing information.  Helpful links about San Francisco's mandatory program for retrofitting wood frame soft story buildings of five or more units.

More information:  Ground motion/liquefaction maps, where to get supplies and insurance, how to volunteer for neighborhood disaster response, general questions

Important information about pets:  Basic precautions to take if you have pets home alone during the day.

Broadcast and streaming video:   The lecture from September 2014 at UCSF is available as streaming video on demand.  It is not quite as useful as being there in person, but is a good resource (check the schedule page for further details).


Special interest topics from the past:

Special for China Basin audience (updated 7/20/09)   Audience members were told to check this website to learn more about the China Basin seismic stability.

Archived statement about March 2011 earthquake prediction (3/21/11)   Fox News' coverage of a geologist's earthquake prediction made people nervous.  This was my statement about the topic.

For more special interest articles, check out my Quaketips blog.


The suggestions contained in this website and in Matt Springer's presentations will substantially reduce the chances of an earthquake causing damage or injury, but cannot guarantee that problems will not still occur due to factors including but not limited to extreme seismic conditions, unexpected structural problems, bracing material flaws, or inadequate installation. This material is based on personal experience, research, and discussion with safety experts; Matt Springer does not have an official emergency management background other than standard community volunteer training.  The information contained herein does not necessarily reflect the views of UCSF or the San Francisco Public Library.

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If you encounter any trouble with this website, please e-mail me.