Step 1: Identifying Hazards & How to Fix Them

The first step to earthquake and tsunami safety is to recognize your hazards.

Look around your home and workplace and identify objects that might fall or shift during shaking. Additional information, including how-to instructions, is available at and from your local American Red Cross office.

Start by identifying items that may fall, topple, or slide. Secure potentially hazardous and valuable items.

Kitchen cupboards with latches

illustration of a special earthquake wall hanger

Shelves with items and putty on the bottom of each item

Wood stove with an anchor to the wall from the stove pipe

a piece of furniture secured to a wall

stereo equipment strapped to a shelf

tsunami zone sign

Know your Zone

Start now by determining whether you live, work or play in a tsunami hazard zone.

Hazard Zone Maps


  • Install strong latches on cabinet doors.
  • Secure refrigerators and major appliances.

Hanging objects

  • Place onlysoft art above beds and sofas.
  • Hang mirrors and pictures on closed hooks.
  • Brace overhead light fixtures.

Objects on open shelves and tabletops

  • Hold smallvaluables in place with removable putty, museum wax, or quake gel.
  • Add lips to shelves to prevent costly items from sliding.
  • Move heavy objects and breakables to lower shelves.

Home and office electronics

  • Secure televisions, computers, sound systems and other electronics with flexible nylon straps and buckles.


  • Store heavyand breakable items on lower shelves.
  • Secure tall furniture to wall studs with lag bolts.

Wood stoves

  • Anchor stove feet by bolting to floor or creating brickand mortar bracing to keep stove from sliding. Note: anchors must not conduct heat.
  • Brace stove pipes.

Water heaters

  • Anchor to wall studs or masonry with metal straps and lag screws.
  • Install flexible (corrugated) copper water connectors.

Garages and utility rooms

  • Move flammable or hazardous material to low cabinets that are securelylatched.
  • Ensure that items stored above or beside vehicle cannot fall.

Above Ground Propane Tanks

  • Propane tanks can be anchored by mounting the tank on a continuous concrete pad and bolting the four legs to the pad. 

Water and Gas Pipes

  • Evaluate, replace and properly secure rusted or worn pipes. 
  • Replace rigid gas connections with flexible stainless steel gas connections.