hans chr. hansen, architect: hanssted skole / school, copenhagen 1954-1959 (Photo credit: seier+seier)
Here ‘s an interesting look at how to upgrade schools that might not be able to sustain a significant earthquake. This creates a “cage” so students can assemble in a reinforced area of the school in the event the building crumbles under the stress. This may be a cost effective way of retrofitting schools while facing current budget challenges.
This may sound dramatic which I am at times (just ask my husband about my infamous hyperbole over the years) but we are all sitting on a potential 600 pound “Missile” in our homes. A full size water heater can be extremely dangerous if it’s not anchored when a megathrust earthquake hits.
In fact, according to the State of Oregon Building Codes Division: “The water heater seismic strapping requirements and applicableseismic zones have changed with the adoption of the new codes. Now all water heaters under the 2005 Oregon Plumbing Specialty Code statewide must be strapped. Water heaters installed in buildings within the scope of the 2005 Oregon Residential Specialty Code are required to be strapped in all counties in the state except the following: Wasco, Jefferson, Deschutes, Crook, Sherman, Wheeler, Gilliam, Marrow, Grant, Harney, Umatilla, Union, Baker, Malheur and Wallowa.”
Sample Product (this is not an endorsement, I just pulled the top ranking site that popped up on Google):
I urge everyone to anchor their water heaters before the big one hits, however, I have to add this story that I happen to find very interesting, ironic, sad, whatever… you decide. We had our water heater replaced and I was informed by the plumber that I need to anchor it down. Not a problem. I went to… now I dislike using store names but I am going to do it this once since I know this large company (like the company I work for) has a listening tool and Google Alerts set to notify their Marketing team back at their headquarters when their brand is referenced online and I want them to see their “logic” at work. OK, so I went to Lowes in Tigard and I asked for an earthquake restraining strap. The clerk on the West side of Portland told me that they don’t have any in this particular store. I was puzzled. She then proceeded to tell me that earthquake straps are available on the East side of the Willamettte River. Huh? I countered that the subduction zone is off the Oregon coast and last time I checked the Pacific is to the west of the Willamette. In fact, the west side of Portland is probably a bit more vulnerable due to the additional proximity to the fault. The clerk nodded and agreed but then she said “try explaining this to our distribution center in North Carolina. In their mind the only thing threatening our area in Mt. Saint Helens.” Really?!? That’s just so…. 1980. So Lowes Companies, Inc. (I am really trying to hit their alerts now) will you please advise your distribution center that seismic straps need to be distributed to ALL of your Portland stores?!?
And, since Home Depot being another large corporation has alerts set up for their competitors (I know this because our company does this) as well, Hi Home Depot, can you please check to ensure that all of your Oregon & Washington stores carry this strap vs. only having it in one store for a silly reason like Lowes… Thanks.
I read about the problems with Hurricane Sandy and the aftermath from the 2011 Japanese quake and there was a common theme… fire. I was scratching my head… how does a fire occur when you have pouring down hurricane force wind & rain and tsunami flooded city streets…. natural gas lines.
Growing up in Coos Bay, this is something that you didn’t have to worry about. No one had natural gas and then I moved to Portland…. where everyone does. So the question remains, how do I shut off my gas line after 4 minutes of severe shaking… both the ground and my knees. After ensuring your family is safe, head straight to the natural gas line and shut it off.
I recently had a service call concerning our furnace and I immediately asked for a tutorial about how to shut off the gas
English: Natural gas burning (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
in the event of a large earthquake. He took me to the side of the house and showed me the switch (I advise everyone to ask an HVAC technician and or someone from your local gas company to show you how). There will be no white hat utility people to the rescue with a large earthquake and you will need to take matters into your own hands. Get a vice grip and turn the switch… and ask your neighbors to do the same. Their gas line being shut off after an earthquake is just as important as your own home. You don’t want their house to burn, since it is your neighbor and you care, but because you also don’t want it to ignite your home.
During my last service call, the tech told me about the emergency shut off valve for gas lines. This will automatically shut off your gas line when the ground begins to shake — which sounds amazing because that will be one less thing on my “to do” list after a large earthquake.
I am not endorsed by this company but I am looking into getting this installed at my home. (Is it rude to ask my neighbor to do the same?)