Earthquake Disaster Preparedness
This region has a low to moderate level of seismicity when compared to the more active seismic zones to the east, along the Ottawa River and in Quebec. Over the past 30 years, on average, 2 to 3 magnitude 2.5 or larger earthquakes have been recorded in the southern Great Lakes region. By comparison, over the same time period, the smaller region of Western Quebec experienced 15 magnitude 2.5 or greater earthquakes per year.
Three moderate sized (magnitude 5) events have occurred in the 250 years of European settlement of this region, all of them in the United States - 1929, Attica, New York, 1986, near Cleveland, Ohio, and 1998, near the Pennsylvania/Ohio border. All three of these earthquakes were widely felt in southern Ontario but caused no damage in Ontario.
BEFORE AN EARTHQUAKE
- Prepare an emergency kit and make a family communications plan. (Click Here)
- Fasten shelves securely and place large or heavy objects on lower shelves.
- Breakable items should be stored in low, closed cabinets with a latch.
- Heavy wall items should be attached securely and away from beds, couches, or anywhere people might be underneath.
- Brace overhead light fixtures and top-heavy lamps.
- Have defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections repaired by a qualified professional.
- Secure water heater, refrigerator, furnace and gas appliances with strapping or bolting. If recommended by your gas company, have an automatic vibration shut-off valve installed.
- Keep cracks in ceiling or foundation repaired and check often for structural defects.
- Store weed killers, pesticides, and flammable products on bottom shelves in closed cabinets with a latch.
- Locate safest spot in each room under a sturdy table or against inside wall. No doorways.
- Hold family earthquake drills: Drop, cover and hold on.
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