Preparing for emergencies is so important that Vic and I are devoting another column to the topic. After sitting in on the city's disaster preparedness seminar two weeks ago, I am more ready for emergencies.
Vic and I have put many of the things that I learned at the seminar into action, but there is still much more to do. For example, I bought a shut-off wrench for the gas line so we can shut off the natural gas in case of a leak. So far the wrench is still in its original packaging, but sooner or later I'll remove the packaging and use some string to attach the tool to the gas line outside.
I knew that we had installed earthquake straps for our water heater and tall furniture, but it turns out that our newer bookcases are unsecured. Ditto our big 1-year-old flat screen TV. I've bought straps to secure those things, as well as latches to keep cupboards from banging open in an earthquake, but haven't installed them yet.