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Project Garage-Organize/E-quake-Resist

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NOTE: For those who think an earthquake will never affect them, understand that some of the largest quakes (magnitudes of some 8!!!!) in commonly-recorded history in the Lower 48 United States happened in the New Madrid, Missouri area, and were strongly felt in Boston, New York, and Wash., D.C.!

EARTHQUAKES AND PREP FOR THEM ARE NOT JUST FOR CALIFORNY!!!

Here's a profile of how I e-quake-resist-fitted my garage, motorcycles, and Kendon stand-up trailer. Notice that I use the term "resist", not "proof".

1) Mapped out logical location for garage stuff. Lotsa measuring, donations, and toss-outs.

2) Chained shelves to studs (2 top shelf corners and 2 bottoms for each shelf). Used cheap nylon tie-down straps to secure rolling toolboxes to shelves, and to secure some shelf contents (would never use these cheapies to tie down bikes to trailer---get good-uns for that purpose). Also used plastic mesh fencing with "S" hooks to secure some shelf contents.

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3) Used Chinese motorcycle jacks to "upright" 2 bikes & snug them up as close as possible to wall; used plastic tubing-covered chain to secure bikes to studs, with spring-closing-type-links (term?) for quick-release (but less strength!). Keeps bike tires mostly off the floor, too. Third bike is nestled into alcove behind the other two.

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4) Chained stand-up trailer to 4 spots on studs and using add-a-links. Secured trailer downward and side-to-side with nylon tie-downs and concrete-anchored steel bars. To have the bars clear the license plate of the stood-up trailer when rolling it around on the casters, etc., I bent up the steel bars less than some 45 degrees from horizontal & "excavated" a "path" about 1/2" deep, 1" long, and 3/4" wide into concrete for the tie-down hook.

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Carbide-tipped drill bits indispensible here. My "two-car" garage is a bit less than 20 X 20. This project: 1) Fitted more stuff in less space (2 medium SUVs, 3 motorcycles, one 3-bike stand-up motorcycle trailer, one bicycle, 4 steel shelves, three cabinets, yard tools, 4 ladders, AK-47/land mine security system, etc.), 2)Resists earthquake damage to garage contents, and 3) Promotes ongoing house/yard/Jeep/motorcycle maintenance/repair/FUN-HAVING!!!

And yes, I started the project about 2 weeks before our recent significant shaker here in SoCal. I was about 3/4 done when said quake hit, but it was not a big one/no damage at my place, and my wife got the rest of the way onto this project wagon faster than you can say @#$%&*!

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ya, tornadoes are a way bigger threat here the earthquakes. One rolls through the same spot every couple years, many people just a mile away from my house have lost thier houses and barns twice to tornados since 2003!

Not really concerned with earthquakes, thats what insurance is for

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to the OP: are you planning to keep the stuff chained down all the time? How often are earthquakes occurring?

Seems like a little bit of over kill, but then again, I don't live in an area that gets em!

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Rustyknife,

Yeah, but prolly ez-er to make yer digs e-quake-resistant vs. tornado-resistant. For those who even HAVE e-quake insurance, deductibles usually some $50k and up.

The New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ) has thousands of bldgs w/little or no quake-resist design (e.g., unreinforced bricks, etc.) Huge quakes there like those of 1811-12 could happen today, or hundreds of years from today; NMSZ has had hundreds of small ones recorded since the 1970s, & "experts" estimate a 90% chance of a 6.0 or greater quake there by 2040. Your call.

Yammyman,

It's all quick-release, 'cept for shelves themselves. I don't plan to move shelves, but could pretty easily---3 of them on wheels, and use beefy drill/driver to pretty quickly install/uninstall lag bolts/chains if I wanted to move the shelves themselves.

Takes some 3 minutes to disconnect/re-connect trailer or bikes; shelf contents take even less time.

Figured while I was re-organizing garage to fit stand-up trailer/3 bikes, etc., would be ez enuf to also secure the tallest/heaviest/most vulnerable stuff (don't forget that these measures help protect your cars/trucks, too---and a lot of us take better care of those babies than we do of our faces, no?---I've seen some of you guys and your cherry rigs, and I've looked at myself in the mirror and at my Jeep, so I know of what I'm typing here 👍 ).

I live basically right on top of a Special Studies Zone fault (known, "active", quite capable of Big One), had a brick/board bookshelf fall on me one morning in just a MODERATE quake---the Sylmar one of 1971 (NOT from the fault under me), haven't forgotten how that smarted, was amazed at how it threw stuff around---looked at wall some 20 feet away & it was rolling up and down several feet vs. my eye level at window sill. Even during the smaller recent one here I watched my neighbor's taller light post wobbling back and forth at the top plus-or-minus one foot or more!

My approach is that I don't know when/how big the next quake is coming---but that it is coming, and I can take reasonable steps to likely reduce damage---kinda like how I wear helmet, knee/shin/elbow pads, gloves, etc. when riding. And like the old motor cop saying, "There are two types of riders---the ones 'been down, and the ones 'going down."

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I read this post and kind of understand what the guy is saying, but if he's that concerned about the "big one", shouldn't he just move?

Seems like massive over kill and a huge PITA when you want to use the garage.

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OCD ?

Don't you have Insurance?

Do you do the same though out the rest of the house?

I do believe in being preparred and if you are ok with chaining everthing down in your house and garage - That's fine - but if there is a quake strong enough for real damage it will be from the house coming down on top of everything in your garage and your stuff will still be damaged.

It seems you are chaining your dirt bike to a stand so it won't fall over in your garage. When I ride my dirt bike it usually hits the ground a couple of times each ride and it's no big deal.

I secure some garage shelves/cabinets to walls and keep my toyhauler stocked with food, water & supplies in case of emergency. I park my dirt bikes near the sides close to the shelves so if stuff comes off - it only hits the dirt bikes = no big deal.

I park my street bikes more in the middle of the garage and cover them with a couple of heavy packing blankets for protection.

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For me, the difference between "Concerned" and "Ready" is Preparation; as I posted first above, my set-up is "resistant", not "proof" (meaning I understand that Really Big One could destroy house/garage/contents). But there's lotsa room between a damaging quake and a totally destructive quake. A key point here again is that moving away from California (btw, I'm doing pretty ok with my work/friends/etc here so far these many years, thank you very much) would basically not "proof" you from a quake---a Lesser Big One or a Really Big One can happen lotsa places---so why not do some prep?

PITA to release a tie-down strap to get tools, then pull strap snug when done with tools? Not PITA for me.

As I posted above, quake insurance (I have it) has a DEDUCTIBLE above $50,000! May I suggest that you read your policies, especially if you think that you're covered by some non-quake-specific policy? Yes, I have ez-reset/auto seismic shut-off gas valve, and have secured my water heater, foundation perimeter, tall dressers, AV equipt, and shelves in house. To-do list includes more foundation components, and fridge. I have cooktop, but stoves, especially gas, should be bolted [bracket for this should have come with new stoves since at least 1995 or so(?)].

The stuff in my garage is where it is in order to fit it all in! If my bikes sat leaning over on their kickstands there would not be enough room for my SUV and my wife's. My wife pulls in and I back in so that we open our driver doors comfortably in the same middle space; leaves just enough room on each passenger side to fit in garage. The bikes, tool boxes, and stand-up trailer are right next to/would fall directly on our SUVs in a bigger quake if not secured. CFCMotosports: Sounds like your set-up works for you and is far ahead of what the majority does; you're right, the bike in the picture is way less dirty/scratched/dented than my other 2---it's due to be more initiated next week (see "'Been down and going down" above).

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Securing your stuff - like the trailer - to the wall makes total sense so it doesn't fall on the cars in the garage.

My garage has no cars in it - only lots of motorcycles, MT Bikes, Tools, jet ski and misc other stuff.

I used to have an expensive sports car in the garage but hardly ever drove it so it sat in the garage under cover & packing blankets - it was in the way of the bikes so I sold it!

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Not many of us have a Jay Leno garage---so we prioritize, no?!

Still miss my 1968 electric blue Formula S Barracuda fastback with stock red wheel wells....(and I've made plenty of mistakes in addition to selling that 'un.)

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Good christ. I'd hate to see the inside of your house! I skipped the chains and bought insurance instead.

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scocam,

Really curious about your earthquake coverage and deductible. Care to share what they are, including the company?

My business takes me into/under/around a lot of houses, includes insurance issues, and there are actually quite a few homes with a significant level of e-quake-secured interiors around here (less so in gangland neighborhoods, though). I actually did more to my house after seeing it done in a lot of others and I save on my insurance BECAUSE of some of the work I did. You don't notice the work, btw, unless you look behind the furniture/in closets, basements/crawlspaces, etc.

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It looks cool with all the chain! I guess my first thought when I saw all the chain was that scene in Pee Wee's Big Adventure where he locks-up his bike.

pee-wee-bike-locked.jpg

Since Texas often sees large rains, tropical storms/depressions and hurricanes, many homeowners opt for disaster insurance or flood insurance. Since we don't usually get damaging earthquakes, our disaster policy includes it in the disaster insurance. I would think that CA probably sells disaster policies that focus on earthquakes but also cover other types of disasters as well.

The policy is through State Farm (since 1994). Can't remember the deductible... never had to use it thankfully (knock on wood).

Did you need to reinforce the concrete in the areas where you mounted the anchors? I had a heavy bag sprung from the ceiling and anchored to the floor and it popped out along with a nice size piece of concrete. How far down did you need to drill the anchors to get them so secure?

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Yeah, but he doesn't have plastic covering his chains!👍

Flood ins here is separate policy, as are our quake policies now thru Cal. E-quake Authority. I'd have to pay out over $50,000 out of my pocket first before the quake policy would pay toward a rebuild or personal property, and my psl ppty limit on it is only $5k.

I personally saw how a lot of homeowners could have saved themselves a lot of money had they taken such "resistant" measures before our Northridge quake of 1994.

My two garage floor anchors there are rated I think either 1k or 3k lb each---can't remember. Trailer weighs some 400lb, but don't know if max shock loads achieved would tear out floor; maybe. Tie-downs might fail first? Trailer is attached in 4 other places, so I'd think some loading would be distributed. There's basically no load on the anchor with the trailer just sitting there. I only drilled down some 1 to 2 inches; you set that type of anchor with a kind of shouldered center-punch tool, and just screw in your fastener. Again, it's a resistant, not proofing measure.

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I can understand the need to secure the shelving units and trailer but the bikes and tool boxes? I guess you are ready for the "Big One", although it might not be of much help when the walls come down.

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OMG That first pic is hilarious! It looks like the inside of a toy hauler about ready to run the 500! 👍:worthy::busted:

Here's what you need to know about earthquakes here in socal:

-For the one earthquake we have each year (minimum 4.0) only your loose picture frames are falling down.

-If there is an 8.0 your house won't likely be standing, good look with the chains in the rubble.

However, if you have a theft problem that looks like a great deterrent.

When the "Big One" does happen, the last thing I am worrying about is my spare air filter or other spare parts.

Not flaming, just enjoying a good laugh... BTW where's your 30 days of food and water?

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Those people that lost their homes and barns must not be worried,dont they get nice fat government checks to re-build:confused: But I know its not worth losing a life for.

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