One thing that I think I should’ve done even more thoroughly in writing Tahoma’s Hammer is describe the mess in the structures—those that remained standing. C.G.—a rigging and engineering acronym for “Center of Gravity”—is an object’s worst enemy during unplanned energy, such as that in an earthquake. Items with high C.G. are much easier to knock over. In the scaffold world, we call it the “base-width-to-heighth ratio.”

Chinamart and the big box home-stores have a variety of strap kits. These can be screwed into the tops of book cases and walls. Ensure you use large anchors if going into just the dry-wall. I recommend finding a stud and hitting that with an actual bolt.

I phrase it that way, because it doesn’t have to be mass-devastation to have a horrific event. Imagine going into the kitchen for “just a moment” and you hear the horrible sound of a bookcase falling over on one of your kids. Tip-proofing you high C.G. items must be a priority.

What are the items you should be securing, though? Three of the most obvious are your water heater, furnace, and book-cases. The less-obvious are your gun-safes and your water-well’s pressure tank and specialty water-filters and softeners. What about those pictures and paintings, especially if they’re over someone’s bed? How about that 80” T.V. on the custom stand?

This is really cheap flat-strap from the hardware stores. I used this exact product in my well-house around the pressure tank and self-refreshing iron filter, bolting it to the house’s studs.

Also—take those annoying baby latches you got rid of when your kids grew up and re-install them on your over-the-counter cabinets. The more things that stay in the cabinets, the less-frustrated you’ll be on the day of the event.

One last tip for the shop: get high-quality toolboxes with latching drawers. You’ll be glad you can find the tools you need on the day the world crumbles at your homestead.

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