SYS Blog

Earthquake in Chile – A Disaster Preparedness Lesson-7 tips to help you

Posted · 34 Comments

earthquake-damage-2009Once more, we are reminded about the awful effect and cost of human life, livelihoods and resources that are a result of an earthquake. This time in Chile on February 27th. An 8.8 is truly a massive, horrendous experience for those unfortunate people

Add to those tears of personal loss the heartbreak of crumbling public and holy buildings full of memories, faith and art. Unfortunately, though, the country will not likely be on a fast track for repair. It’s too rural, not magnificent enough, not published in all the art books, not world famous enough — and there is a lot of damage to deal with during trying economic times.

Of course, the epicenter of damage is now rubble. But, there are many, many homes in the area that were only badly rattled. That’s the case, also, in a hurricane, tornado or even a bad storm; a focused area gets the brunt of the impact and the vast outlying areas “just” get shook up. So, actually, there are huge numbers of people that were not physically at risk, but they may have lost and had damaged many cherished family treasures.

But there are ways to be prepared and benefit even if you were to be at the epicenter of such devastation.

Disaster preparedness for your personal items includes knowing how to protect your genealogy, heirlooms, photographs, letters, old books, art work and important documents. Set priorities and protect, first, your most important items. Here are 7 tips to help you be better prepared:

  1. Use an anchor wax to secure items that can fly off shelves and rattle around in display cases. (Home Depot) This is a VERY good tip!

  1. Keep photos in archival photo albums that are easy to grab and go. Keep them in a book case or storage box that is easy to get to.

  1. Keep storage boxes away from water pipes (water heaters too) that could break and flood on your treasured items (causing water and mold damage).

  1. Make sure hanging hooks AND wires are strong, oversized and well anchored into the wood. I can’t tell you how many paintings and frames I’ve repaired that fall off the wall onto a corner of a table or through a vase. Or what about that heavy item hanging over your head in bed!!?? Use the anchor wax mentioned in #1 to hold the artwork to the wall (two balls in lower corners will keep it from “jumping off the hanging hook”).

  1. Photograph treasured keepsakes and copy important documents; keep a copy in another location (another city or state!). Be prepared for an insurance claim.

  1. You may need supplemental insurance for earthquakes. Make sure your homeowner’s policy covers your contents. Heirlooms should not require a Fine Arts rider but should fall under your regular home owner’s policy. You will still need photos and values for a claim (go to

  1. Get a copy of “How To Save Your Stuff From A Disaster” (

Even in the event of total devastation #’s 5 and 6 will save your memories and get you back on your feet MUCH sooner. If you are a business owner, these steps may be the difference between reopening after the disaster. Did you know that 25% of the business involved in a disaster never reopen? And 25% of those that do reopen, close within a year.

These steps may save your business and livelihood.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

34 Responses to "Earthquake in Chile – A Disaster Preparedness Lesson-7 tips to help you"
  1. I pray for those that go through this hardship.

  2. Benett Rogers says:

    Great Web site! I wanted to ask if I could quote a portion of your website and use a handful of points for a school assignment. Please email me whether or not that would be fine. Thanks

    • Scott says:

      Thanks for asking Benett. Yes, I am fine with taking articles, tips and blog posts from the website for redistribution with people you know. Please give us credit and let others know about our website. Emergency preparedness is something we all need encouragement to do. Another way to let other people know is to connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, linkedin and Plaxo and “retweet” my posts that I send out often. I always try to post a useful tip and guide people to an interesting article.

  3. Martha Brant says:

    This disaster makes me really sad for those poor people. We should all wake up about getting our own houses prepared for when one hits our area. Its inevitable, ya know.

  4. Bradie Testolina says:

    Thanks for writing this. This situation is so sad. And thanks for the heads up to do something at home. I’ll stay plugged in with your Tips you send out. And thanks for your book, I love it.

  5. David Noegg says:

    Another earthquake…this sucks, I hope the people of Chile are OK. Thanks for bringing the lesson home to us.

  6. Andrew Kluss says:

    Is Chile as poor a country as Haiti? Don’t you think it will get some better international help?

    • Scott says:

      Well, Andrew… you are right, Chile is better off financially and culturally. But consider the earthquake in Italy last year. As rich a country and as artistic the area was that got hit, it still is having a hard time getting the funding to rebuild immediately cause it wasn’t a mainstream, international cultural center. Think how even harder it will be for Chile…. and how impossible it will be for Haiti. The reconstruction in those countries will be dragged out and protracted.

  7. Ashley Quam says:

    I like the layout of your blog and your info and stories are great. It seems like appraisals would be an important issue. Disaster planning usually seems like only a business matter.

    • Scott says:

      Try connecting with Richard Holgate at for appraisal questions and coaching. Yes, Ashley, you guessed it correctly that emergency preparedness is definitely an home issue as much as insurance.

    • Scott says:

      And, just a note, I am speaking at the National Hurricane Conference in Orlando Florida at the end of the month (March 2010). So, you can see, I take the emergency preparedness part of my message very seriously. I’ll be talking more about this in the weeks coming up.

  8. Sidney Keyho says:

    You have a very good template . Where did you find it?

  9. Kevin McCormick says:

    I love this blog. Thanks for the great information. I have it bookmarked and will be back. Every artist, painter, collector, curator, genealogist should be aware.

  10. Andrew A. Sailer says:

    Hey, I like your site. It has a lot of great information.

  11. Bennett Klem says:

    With the little earthquake we had in LA this morning, I was looking around for info and came across your blog. So, I’m motivated to do something for when a bigger one arrives!!!! While I don’t know anything about this topic, I totally understood your suggestions because they made sense. Thanks and goodluck to you.

  12. Jean says:

    I really liked your blog! Large plastic storage containers are so useful in preparing for a disaster!

  13. Simon says:

    Interesting observations…the Chile earth quake was a horrible disaster…on this side of the Pacific all the warning systems seemed to work, and everyone was prepared for a Tsunami, which luckily never came.

  14. Tiffany Jensen says:

    Very good information. This blog and your writing is very clean… its almost refreshing! I’m so tired of going to blogs with all the sloppy nonsense but I can count on your info and other’s comments on being relative to the subject and informative. Thanks! I’ve downloaded other free articles and sent them around my club, as you said we could. Thanks!

  15. tracy says:

    I clicked on your RSS feed. Thank you for good job and look forward to following!

  16. I think your post is very nice and great tips.thanks..

  17. Victor Risas says:

    Chile suffered so many disasters… its such a shame. This earthquake was a hard hit. They’re such great people. Thanks for talking about this subject and helping us to learn from others. Where can I go for more help?

    • Scott says:


      Yes, I know what you mean. Chile is a great place… or I image that it would be! All I hear are good things about it: good food, nice people, great art and civilizations/archeology.

      For some practical help, go to our Products page (tab at top of page or this website) and order the Museum Wax to anchor down collectibles in your house. this can be a HUGE benefit to you!

  18. Alisha Boracay says:

    I read you news about the Chilean earthquake… how terrible. Your suggestions about preparing make sense and I’ll get some of the Museum Wax.

  19. Fred says:

    I’ve never thought about using anchor wax before. That is a really great idea. Thanks for the tips.

  20. Emily Dancer says:

    It’s devastating to see that even a year after the fact, that the people of Chile are still suffering from the effects of the quake. I hope that seeing what this natural disaster did the Chile, that more people will prepare emergency kits and develop a disaster plan with their families. I will definitely remember to include in my family’s plan the anchoring down of collectibles and stuff that could fly around. Thank you for posting and thanks for the Museum Wax offer. Its a great deal!

  21. jaket distro says:

    Great post I must say.. Simple but yet entertaining and engaging.. Keep up the good work!

  22. Robert Smith says:

    I like your blog. Thanks for this helpful information.

  23. Robert Smith says:

    Great tips….thanks for this great information.

  24. Very nice tips you got here. Thank you for sharing this. It is very helpful and useful. I really love your topics. Keep posting for more and keep it updated. Great work. Thanks!

  25. Steven says:

    I will never forget how disastrous that earthquake was in Chile. this blog gives good tips for disaster preparedness especially to your important documents. Thank you for sharing on how to Get a copy of “How To Save Your Stuff From A Disaster”. This will be very helpful.

  26. Patamjali Rahatkopsh Work In Disaster Management:

    1 Rapid Emergency Response:

    Most hazardous situation gets to be distant spot where typical individual can’t go after help work. After military just our group can get to such a spot.

    2 Strong Team Of Devotive Youth:

    Patanjali Family have committed yoga educators, Sevavarti laborers solid group of Yuva Bharat which has the capacity achieve remote territories and can work in troublesome conditions.

Comments are closed.