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twocats Offline OP
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I recently mentioned to my husband that if the Big Quake happens here, my plan is to hide under the piano. It looks like it's built like a tank. Good idea or bad idea? If it fell on me, well, I'd probably be dead.

Last edited by twocats; 05/07/21 12:18 AM.

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On the one hand, maybe it would just roll?

On the other hand, it's heavy, and if one of the legs got enough sideways pressure on it, kaboom!

I think if we get an earthquake, I'll just walk out into the backyard?

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When the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake hit, I crouched down next to an upright piano, figuring it would take the brunt of anything that fell. I did not want to be in front of it in case it fell forward. So I think next to, but not under, is a good bet.

My current home has been rebuilt to current earthquake standards.


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Depends. If your piano is a grand, maybe that’s a solid idea since you don’t have a better choce. If you have an upright, it should be the other way around and you should cover it with your body.


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Originally Posted by BlakeOR
I think if we get an earthquake, I'll just walk out into the backyard?

I live on a hill! We did get major foundation work done last year so in theory the house is pinned to the ground now.

Originally Posted by BDB
When the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake hit, I crouched down next to an upright piano, figuring it would take the brunt of anything that fell. I did not want to be in front of it in case it fell forward. So I think next to, but not under, is a good bet.

Ah that's a good plan. I'm now remembering the advice to make a triangle. If the ceiling falls the taller object will create a triangular area around you.


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I do not think I would hide under my C2 twocats.Not during an earthquake.Not even a Bosendorfer could tempt me to do that.Only a 6 legged Fazioli (or Bosendorfer) could tempt me.As long as it's not in castor cups !

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Originally Posted by tre corda
I do not think I would hide under my C2 twocats.Not during an earthquake.Not even a Bosendorfer could tempt me to do that.Only a 6 legged Fazioli (or Bosendorfer) could tempt me.As long as it's not in castor cups !

My piano looks like it's built like a tank. I wouldn't consider it for most other pianos smile


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Yes but the tank could come down upon your head.Unless the legs are very well screwed in.I am not saying a Fazioli is more well built than your piano.I really would not know.

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Originally Posted by tre corda
Yes but the tank could come down upon your head.Unless the legs are very well screwed in.I am not saying a Fazioli is more well built than your piano.I really would not know.

Yes, as BDB suggested, right next to the tank is a better idea smile


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You need to get out of house if possible. Even if your grand looks like tank and its legs are strong to hold it, there is always a chance that structures above piano collapse, and you will get buried under it.
Add to this that if heavy grand moves (which is quite possible during strong earthquake), it may destroy everything around, and walls and ceiling may collapse if it hits one of walls with force. I am talking about small residential buildings, not about steel and concrete skyscrapers, or medieval castles.

Last edited by VladK; 05/07/21 01:38 AM.

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Originally Posted by twocats
Originally Posted by tre corda
Yes but the tank could come down upon your head.Unless the legs are very well screwed in.I am not saying a Fazioli is more well built than your piano.I really would not know.

Yes, as BDB suggested, right next to the tank is a better idea smile
Yes I think so.I am sure if the movers screwed the legs in properly ,Bo would protect you regardless.Anyway enough about earthquakes! Strangely enough this conversation reminds me of the movie"The Pianist"where even the bombing in Warsaw did not distract the pianist from his playing in the radio studio recital.

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Originally Posted by VladK
You need to get out of house if possible. Even if your grand looks like tank and its legs are strong to hold it, there is always a chance that structures above piano collapse, and you will get buried under it.
Add to this that if heavy grand moves (which is quite possible during strong earthquake), it may destroy everything around, and walls and ceiling may collapse if it hits one of walls with force.

They say if you feel an earthquake, you have seconds to find a secure spot. No time to run outside!

Good point about the grand possibly moving if there's a big earthquake. If it's the Big Quake it would be a major one. Maybe hiding under the dining table is a better idea. Hopefully it won't happen in my lifetime but always good to have a plan...


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Originally Posted by VladK
You need to get out of house if possible. Even if your grand looks like tank and its legs are strong to hold it, there is always a chance that structures above piano collapse, and you will get buried under it.

But won't you get buried anyway if the roof of your house collapses on you? At least if you're under a piano and its structure doesn't break you'll be buried under all the debris but uninjured, as opposed to being buried under all the debris AND injured due to all the debris falling directly onto you.

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I would not hide under a grand piano during an earth quake

There are a number of flat areas that might play a role in protecting you: the lid, the sound board, the iron plate.

The sound board is very thin, I think it will break immediately if something heavy would directly hit it.

The lid is probably not that strong, as it only serves to keep out dust and deflect the sound. Also it's supported only on the edges by the rim. I expect it will also break if something heavy drops on it.

The strongest part is the iron frame. It is build to withstand immense pressure. Unfortunately, its strength is in exactly one direction: horizontal in the direction of the strings. Also it's cast iron and thus brittle. I think it would also break if hit with something heavy from the to.


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I saw a grand piano collapse when it was being pushed across a church platform and the back leg caught on a tiny bump in the carpet. Not pretty. The legs are meant to stand up to vertical weight - any sideways pressure and they will snap off or come loose.

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Running outside is not necessarily a good idea. Stuff falls off buildings even after the shaking stops.

There were a couple of small earthquakes near here a week or so ago, 2.6 and 2.8, I think. When I looked them up, there were statistics for earthquakes in this area greater than 1.5, and there had been nearly one a day for the past year. That lessens the chance that there will be a big earthquake.


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Curling up inside the huge open fireplace of your baronial mansion is likely to be the best place I think, assuming it isn't lit :-)

Failing that I imagine that under a door lintel, ideally one near a room corner, might be as good as you get if we disallow going outside into the middle of a field. That said we don't really have earthquakes here so others have probably thought about this a lot more than me.

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Originally Posted by gwing
Curling up inside the huge open fireplace of your baronial mansion is likely to be the best place I think, assuming it isn't lit :-)

Failing that I imagine that under a door lintel, ideally one near a room corner, might be as good as you get if we disallow going outside into the middle of a field. That said we don't really have earthquakes here so others have probably thought about this a lot more than me.

They used to say to hide under a door because of the perceived stability, but now the advice is NOT to hide under a door because structurally it's just a hole in the wall!

And if you had a huge fireplace it would be the worst place to be! smile We actually had our chimney completely removed since in an earthquake situation it's effectively a pile of bricks.

I think being piano-adjacent as BDB had suggested is a good idea. You want to be next to something strong to protect you from large falling things, but I definitely don't want to be under the grand if a leg gives way!


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Not sure about Earthquakes but a bathtub is the place to be for tornadoes. Preferably with something heavy like a mattress to cover you.

Last edited by TBell; 05/07/21 12:05 PM. Reason: edit
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Originally Posted by Sam S
I saw a grand piano collapse when it was being pushed across a church platform and the back leg caught on a tiny bump in the carpet. Not pretty. The legs are meant to stand up to vertical weight - any sideways pressure and they will snap off or come loose.

Sam

This! The fragility of grand piano legs is well known. Hiding under a grand piano is the LAST thing I would do.

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