Earthquake Emergency Preparation

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Since 1900, earthquakes have occurred in 39 states and have caused damage in all 50.

Between 400 and 500 earthquakes are reported in the United States in a typical year.

Of the ten most costly U.S. earthquakes, nine occurred in California. But major fault lines exist in the Midwest and the East as well.

There are several things you can do before and after an earthquake to assure you and your family’s safety.

Before an earthquake

  • Make a written or videotaped inventory of household possessions and property, and store those records in a safe place with insurance policies, documents, and other valuables.
  • Choose a safe place in every room where nothing can fall on you.
  • Practice “Drop, Cover and Hold On” at least twice a year.
  • Designate an out-of-town family contact.
  • Eliminate predictable hazards by bolting tall furniture and water heaters to wall studs and installing strong latches on cupboards.
  • Take a first aid class from your local Red Cross chapter
  • Assemble a disaster supplies kit including: battery-powered radio, flashlight, extra batteries, at least three gallons of water per person, canned food, can opener, first aid kit, essential medications, sturdy shoes, work gloves, sanitation supplies, fire extinguisher and tools, and instructions to shut off utilities.
  • Keep essentials by your bedside.

After an earthquake

  • Call your independent insurance agent as soon as possible.
  • Make temporary repairs to prevent further damage.
  • Delay permanent repairs until your insurer approves reimbursement.
  • Get any necessary construction permits from your community.
  • Keep all receipts.
  • Prepare an inventory of all damaged or destroyed personal property.
  • Take photos of damaged areas.
  • Save remnants of damaged or destroyed property for your insurance company adjuster.
  • Meet with your adjuster first, before signing anything with contractors, lawyers, or public adjusters.

Be prepared! And get earthquake insurance today!

Information provided courtesy of Independent Insurance Agents of America

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