Earthquakes, one of Mother Nature’s most unsettling phenomenons, are unpredictable and can strike without warning. That’s why it’s important for you and your family to learn how to prepare for an earthquake, and develop a plan to react quickly and safely if a disaster strikes.

Earthquake Safety Recommendations

Preparing for an Earthquake:

    • Locate the shutoff valves for water, gas and electricity in your home. Learn how to shut off the valves before a quake. If you have any questions, call your utility company.
    • Bolt down and secure to the wall studs your water heater, refrigerator, furnace and gas appliances. If recommended by your gas company.
  • Have an automatic gas shut-off valve installed that is triggered by strong vibrations.
  • Hold earthquake drills with your family members: Drop, cover and hold on! Locate safe spots in each room under a sturdy table or against an inside wall. Reinforce this information by moving to these places during each drill.
  • Keep extra cash on hand. If electricity is out, you will not be able to use an automatic banking machine.
  • Make copies of vital records and take photos and/or videos of your valuables. Make copies and keep them in a safety deposit box, preferably in another city or state.

During an Earthquake

  • Remain inside of your home and seek shelter under a heavy table or desk, brace yourself inside a doorframe or inside wall.
  • Stay at least 15 feet away from windows and out of kitchens and garages, if possible.
  • Stay under the structure that is protecting you. If the shaking causes the table or desk to move, then you should move with it so you remain protected.
  • Do not panic, and anticipate what you should do next to remain safe. Also, do not be alarmed if your electricity goes out.

After the Ground Stops Shaking

  • Remain in your safe location for several minutes after the ground stops shaking in case there are any aftershocks.
  • Do not leave your home unless it is absolutely necessary to do so.
  • Check your family members for injuries and administer first aid.
  • Establish a temporary shelter area in your home away from areas that have severe damage.

Earthquake policies typically cover damage to your house and your belongings, up to the insured amount. To learn more about your homeowner liabilities and ways to insure losses with an Earthquake Insurance policy, contact us today.

Sources: FEMA,  Zywave, Inc.