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Eichlers and earthquakes

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Joined: May 27 2004

Where is the best place to stand in an earthquake in an Eichler? We live in one of the earlier Eichlers in Palo Alto ( built in 1950 or 1951) that was originally a 3 bedroom 2 bath with the carport at the front of the house so we have a slightly pitched roof with about 3 main beams running the length of the house.

I think standing under the beams is really safe, but my husband thinks the doorways are safer.

Joined: Mar 2 2004

Doorways are stronger than the rest of a house. Standing in a doorway was taught to all of us in California. Since the 1989 earthquake, this has changed. Many peoples' hands were pinched by the door swinging about in 1989. Experts now say not to stand in a doorway. The safest place would be the bedroom hall-way. Conventional wisdom also requires staying away from windows (they could shatter), avoiding things that may fall on you i.e. furniture, canned goods, dishes, light fixtures. I wouldn't worry about trying to stay under a beam in an Eichler. The roof structure that is held up by the beams is not especially heavy or likely to come apart and fall. I like the idea of keeping a prybar under the master bath sink. Imagine the frustration of not being able to get out if doors were stuck.

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