Earthquake-proofing your collection?!?

Jack T Chance

Sr Member
So, yesterday, the East Coast of the United States experienced its first significant earthquake in, like, FOREVER (as judged by the length of time I've inhabited this planet, naturally! ;)). The quake's epicenter was in Mineral, VA, so it was felt pretty strongly in my home state of Maryland. The Washington Monument was cracked, the National Cathedral sustained damage (just a couple or 3 years after its decades-long construction was finally completed! :rolleyes), an old, gothic church in Baltimore sustained heavy damage, at least one apartment building near D.C. sustained enough damage that it's been condemned... and then there's my neighborhood.

My bedroom, which is on the second floor of a townhouse and which also houses most of my memorabilia collection, was a mess. LOTS of stuff knocked over off of shelves. LUCKILY nothing seems to have been broken. Thankfully, only ONE of my prop replicas fell off of a shelf to the floor, and it is FINE. It's the electronic 4th Doctor Sonic Screwdriver I got from the RPF's RussRep, so that's a testament to the durability of his work right there! :)

But even still, I'm pretty spooked by the whole thing. One of the reasons I love living in Maryland, in fact pretty much the ONLY reason I love it these days, is that, as a general rule, we DON'T get the natural disasters that are so prevalent in the rest of the country! No earthquakes, no tornadoes of consequence, no hurricanes/tropical storms reach us with any real power left, no raging forest fires, no mudslides, no sandstorms... nothing. The occasional blizzard once every few decades is about the worst we have to deal with, generally speaking. So this was completely unexpected and most unwelcome. I've specifically REFUSED to move to the Left Coast specifically because I DON'T want my collection destroyed by Mother Nature's fury! :thumbsdown

So, now I'm thinking what I'm sure other RPFers East of the Mississippi must be thinking as well: How do I "Earthquake-Proof" my collection, to protect it against the next such occurrence?!? :confused

How do I display my props, figures, statues, die-cast vehicles, etc, so that an earthquake won't do any damage whatsoever? I figure the minds here at the RPF have had to figure this out, especially those that live near the Pacific Ocean! So, let's here your ideas! I'm going to be moving into a new place soon, and that'll be the perfect time to make some changes! :)

Thanks in advance for any advice. :)
Being from the Gulf Coast I can say I have never experienced an earthquake, but I do know a little something about Hurricanes. In a hurricane it is hard to try to secure valuables from wind damage and posable flooding. I know your area does not get a lot of storms, but with the one coming up the coast and ones in the future I can suggest tupperware boxes, bubble wrap or multitudes of grocery bags, and some duct-tape. And just after you get the house prepared with the necessaries, box up your most precious collectables and seal the boxes with duct-tape. It may sound stupid, but when a window breaks or part of the roof goes at least your stuff wont be soaked and mildew in the days to come. Personally I have cases for most things I want to keep dry around the house. In Ivan a lot of people had their stuff ruined by roof "Malfunctions" due to high winds.
there is a putty called quakhold which some collectors use. supposedly, some museums use it for their artifacts so they dont topple over during a quak or some dummy that bumps into showcases
My entire collection of "stuff" was destroyed in the '94 Northridge quake. It was mostly scale models and toys back then. I really don't think there's such a thing as 100% protection. That's just the sad fact of life. But I do bolt all my shelves to the wall and that quake hold putty stuff works pretty well. There's a wax version that will hold anything, but leaves a sticky residue that has to be wiped off. There's also a putty and a gel version that don't hold as well, but are easier to peel off. It will hold your items to the shelf to a certain point. But even bolting your items to the ground won't do any good if the magnitude is high enough.
I felt this one in my car. Part of me wants to buy a big safe and keep all of my props in there. Fire/water/quake/etc. protection, but that takes away the joy of displaying.
I'm going to encase all my collectables in large, clear resin cubes, and then anchor-chain them to the foundation of my house.

Nah. I display my stuff in glass detolf cases. If my luck runs out, I'm pretty screwed.
Same here... I think Detolf cabinets are the least durable cases ever made. Thin metal and glass. They even move when I walk past 'em for crying out loud!
This thread is more than 12 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. This thread hasn't been active in some time. A new post in this thread might not contribute constructively to this discussion after so long.
If you wish to reply despite these issues, check the box below before replying.
Be aware that malicious compliance may result in more severe penalties.