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I live in an area where the government keeps warning us to expect an earthquake. A really big earthquake. Having lived through the 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 (the one that interrupted the World Series), I take this pretty seriously. And one of my concerns is how to keep my home canned goods safe. After all, if the earthquake is big enough, those jars might contain the only food we could obtain for a while.
Let's face it; canning jars are far from earthquake proof. So what can we do to minimize the risk of loosing them during an earthquake? Here are some ideas I've come up with or seen implemented online.
* Secure shelves or cupboards to wall studs. This should keep them from toppling over during an earthquake.
* Line shelves with no-slip (or "grip") shelf liner to help prevent jars from sliding around during a quake.
* Secure cupboard doors with child locks. This will at least keep jars from flying out of them during an earthquake.
* Place boards across the front of open shelves. Don't just give shelves a lip, or place wood at the bottom of each shelf. In a bigger earthquake, that won't help at all. Instead, place the wood jut below the middle of the jars. (Make it look like this, not this.) Be sure the wood is on the sides of the shelves, too. I've seen some people use bungee cords instead of wood or metal, but unless those cords are really tight and not at all stretchy, they won't help at all.
* Place jars in boxes with foam or bubble wrap dividers. Sort the content so like items are grouped together, clearly label all sides of the boxes, and label the tops of jars, too. If this seems like a pain for everyday use, separate a percentage of your jars into boxes and keep the rest on the shelf.
How do you protect your canning jars from natural disasters?