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View Full Version : Earthquakes - keeping stuff secured



SpidersWeb
June 18th, 2014, 02:01 PM
Last respectable earthquake we had my stuff mostly stayed standing, but with more things getting setup - including larger CRTs with smaller foot prints on top of two stacked desktops that sit on cheap desks - I figured it'd be worth seeing what other people think about securing stuff and what methods they use or might use.

My book shelves and LCD TVs use straps, but I've got nothing on the CRTs etc. I'm ok with the 5153 and 5151 displays because those have a wide footprint and are stable.

Thought it might be worth a discussion, see if anyone has some thoughts or products they recommend?

(p.s. house is an ex-rental, the walls are nasty, which means I have the freedom to drill holes anywhere without getting yelled at)
(p.p.s it's not that we get dramatic earthquakes on a regular basis, but the last few years have inspired me to get off my ass and prepare a little bit)

tezza
June 18th, 2014, 05:32 PM
I have this reoccurring nightmare that we have a quake and my whole collection, currently stacked in a lined upstairs "study/workroom" in the garage suddenly takes the form of jumbled and broken chaos on the garage floor. There is a lot of weight on that upstairs floor/garage ceiling now and if we ever get a decent earthquake, I don't expect it to end well!

Tez

SpidersWeb
June 18th, 2014, 05:48 PM
I had one this morning after making the post - only a baby in Seddon but I'm high up and it didn't help with nerves (despite the bigger ones being ages ago, still freaks me out).

Fingers crossed you're safe over those ways - usually pretty steady eh?

Old now, but the 5th floor of our office building after the last decent one:
19100
Not a fan.

SomeGuy
June 18th, 2014, 05:57 PM
A waaay while back I had read an account of someone in California who had a garage full of Xerox Alto machines all neatly stacked... until an earthquake brought them all down. What a mess.

No earthquakes here in Atlanta, but if you believe the news, those falling trees are all out to get us. (They obviously are too lazy to report real news)

barythrin
June 19th, 2014, 08:27 AM
Wow (pic). I have no experience (yet) with earthquakes so I was just surprised that you thought they might fall in general. I was near that one in Oklahoma (about 60 miles away at the time it happened) but it didn't do much other than I think perhaps cracked some tiles on the floor at the hotel and of course shook the room around a bit.

Do folks in CA do anything in their offices for prep or just ride it out and pick things up once they fall? I didn't realize NZ was having common issues with that.

My last disaster nightmare (usually flooding) took me by surprise. Fortunately it wasn't really where I live (odd) but <dream music and fade into fantasy> in another place in town where my wife and I were sitting in the lawn of "our house" (I know where the house is, just no clue why I was living there in the dream lol), relaxing and it looked like a lot of dark clouds in the sky. I noticed almost like a tornado type effect off in the distance but it was more rising than coming down. Realized it was a volcano eruption and then the earth started rumbling. Scrambled to get everyone up and to safety or behind concrete but a plume of fire/gas crap came from another angle and pretty much wiped us out.</scene>. So not much I could do for the collection or us there. I think it was some toxic gas/nuclear type blast thing I saw on a documentary on super volcanoes.

In reality I do have concern over the top floor collection and weight (something I never really thought I'd exceed) but I'm betting I'm close. Not quite sure where the floor would end up downstairs wise.. I think it's over our bathroom not bed but pretty much the only safe ground I have is in the garage. I suppose other than that I'd have to perhaps have some added stilts or angular bars attached to the shelves? (waste of space and something to trip over) but I would think that could perhaps reduce the chance of a shelf falling over.

Perhaps adding a lip or something to the shelf (also not very attractive though) could keep thinks from falling off? but that'd be counter intuitive for show or using them if you have to reach over a lip to type.

tezza
June 19th, 2014, 01:09 PM
... I didn't realize NZ was having common issues with that.
Oh yes. In fact our second-largest city was devastated by an earthquake in 2011 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Christchurch_earthquake).

I know some collectors in Christchurch who had many of their collection items trashed by this quake.

Just how and if things are thrown around in a quake can depend on lots of factors like the nature of the wave and whether the shaking is largely vertical or horizontal or whatever combination of both. The last shake of note I experienced was in Jan this year (http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/6-2-earthquake-cuts-power-phones-stops-trains-5803966). It was a Monday..and an anniversary weekend...a so called bank holiday as the Brits would say. My wife and I were sitting out on our deck having a beer (it was summer of course) when everything suddenly started to shake. I could see the whole 2-storey house moving, flexing and I could hear it creaking. It was both wondrous and terrifying at the same time. I was waiting for the crashing sound of items being thrown around. But we were lucky. Almost no damage at all (and that includes computers). The only thing that had fallen to the floor was a candle in a glass jar...and that hadn't even broken.

Advice to homeowners re: items is to make sure they are well secured and anything tall that is standing against a wall is also screwed to the wall via a bracket of some sort. It's good advice.

Tez

barythrin
June 19th, 2014, 01:51 PM
Does home owners insurance protect against losses due to earthquakes? Extra cost in general for that protection and is the "collection" worth trying to insure like that? I think it was Billdeg here that posted about his computer collection home insurance experience where it wasn't recommended for a collection worth less than $20,000?

tezza
June 19th, 2014, 02:07 PM
Does home owners insurance protect against losses due to earthquakes? Extra cost in general for that protection and is the "collection" worth trying to insure like that? I think it was Billdeg here that posted about his computer collection home insurance experience where it wasn't recommended for a collection worth less than $20,000?

Yes, ordinary home and contents insurance are generally for fire, theft, floods and earthquakes. Earthquakes are not separated out.

Most insurance companies don't cover a specific "collection" as such in a general policy. You need to specify what the collection is, what it's worth and the premiums are calculated accordingly. I've haven't explored that with my own insurance company yet. I really should.

Tez

xprt
June 19th, 2014, 02:39 PM
Yes, ordinary home and contents insurance are generally for fire, theft, floods and earthquakes. Earthquakes are not separated out.

Most insurance companies don't cover a specific "collection" as such in a general policy. You need to specify what the collection is, what it's worth and the premiums are calculated accordingly. I've haven't explored that with my own insurance company yet. I really should.

Tez

Interesting. In the US, insurance doesn't usually cover "acts of God", like flood or earthquake. You would need separate earthquake insurance, which most people do not have because it is expensive and has a high deductible.

Most Californians are pretty much in denial about earthquakes, though we know "the big one" will happen someday. The last major one for the Bay Area was in 1989 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1989_Loma_Prieta_earthquake). I was at work at the time. When I got home later, I found my TV had fallen off it's stand about two feet to the floor and landed face down. But it wasn't damaged. There are Velcro type strap kits you could use to stick a monitor down to a desk or something if you are concerned about them falling over.

SpidersWeb
June 19th, 2014, 02:42 PM
I asked my insurance company (State). I was told I'd need to get it valued (how many approved antique valuers do you know with vintage computer knowledge?) and they wouldn't cover the costs of importing replacements if not available locally. Something like a 220V 5151 would likely need to come from Europe - and most of the cost is in shipping - not to mention the price rises. Much of my gear I only acquired out of luck finding a good deal rather than purchasing for market price.

I would love to get a specialty insurance for it, but haven't found a provider yet. I'm pretty confident if I relied on my home and contents, I'd be screwed.


There are Velcro type strap kits you could use to stick a monitor down to a desk or something if you are concerned about them falling over.
Cheers, I'll look in to those.