The The Earthquake Expo Miami logo

Feb 7 & 8 / 2022

Miami, FL

Simple Seismic Solution for High-Value Product located in Storage Racks

This article was contributed by our exhibitor Ridg-U-Rak. Learn more about their business here!

Storing valuable products in areas with seismic activity can be risky and even dangerous. Whether your in the business of warehousing irreplaceable vintage wines or you operate a distribution centerstoring rare spices from around the world, keeping your high-value inventory protected during an earthquake is a big issue. 

Such was the case for HALL Wines in Napa Valley, California. The 2014 earthquake on the West Napa Fault caused estimated damage in excess of $300 million with much of that being sustained by the regions 500 winemakers. In the aftermath of that 6.0 magnitude earthquake, HALL Wines knew they needed additional seismic protection to safe guard their inventory of valuable and irreplaceable vintage wines.  Installing Seismic Base Isolators under their storage rack columns was an easy decision.

The base isolators are positioned between the columns of an upright frame and the concrete floor and significantly “decouples” the rack structure in the transverse directionfrom the ground motions that occur during a seismic event.  Ridg-U-Rak’s rack base isolators have proven by full scale testing to dissipate approximately 85% of the seismic energy exerted on a storage system during an earthquake.   A storage rack system with base isolators is designed to withstand an earthquake 25% more intense than the Northridge or Loma Prieta earthquakes that reached magnitudes of 6.7 and 6.9 on the Ritcher scale.

In 2008, these simple, but highly effective, base isolators won a National Award in Excellence for Earthquake Mitigation and Earthquake Innovation. The system was developed in accordance with performance levels outlined in FEMA 460 Seismic Considerations for Steel Racks Located in Areas Accessible to the Public. The full scale test videos are available at www.ridgurak.com

RIDG-U-RAK’s SEISMIC Base Isolation System:


  • Is a patented technology for seismic base isolation

  • Is a self-contained unit that can be installed in both new and existing rack systems 

  • Performed flawlessly during many earthquake test simulations 

  • In identical simulations at 200% levels, the conventional fixed-base racks failed and shed the majority of the loads during the test, while the base-isolated system shed zero loads. 

  • Exceeds performance standards established by FEMA 

  • Significantly reduces risk of product loss and personal injury during an earthquake 

  • Has little protrusion into the storage space and does not impede stocking or daily operations 

  • Can be moved during a reconfiguration


Gary Cisneros, the Shipping & Inventory Manager at HALL Wines said, “We decided to install the isolators throughout our new facility. From an operational point of view, the isolators are a great solution, as they’re almost undetectable, fitting neatly under the rack’s upright frames, and don’t interfere with our lift trucks moving in and around the rack.” Hall’s warehouse stocks cases of bottled wines, and serves as their short and long term storage facility.  From this facility, Cisneros’ team packs their direct-to-consumer Wine Club orders on a daily basis, and stocks an inventory of the winemaker’s library wines on the pallet rack, possibly for years. The warehouse included 500+ pallet positions of RIDG-U-RAK’s teardrop pallet rack with nearly 100 base isolators installed with the upright frames. “We felt the modest investment in the Base Isolators provided an extra level of protection for our valuable wines, making it an easy decision,” said Cisneros.

For more information, visit www.ridgurak.com or call 814-725-8751