Preparing for Earthquakes

Understanding Insurance and EarthquakesIs your home located near a fault line? Even if your answer is no, your home may still be vulnerable to damage from earthquakes. According to Ready.gov, all 50 U.S. states are at risk for earthquakes. Earthquakes occur suddenly and without advanced warnings, at any time of the year. And, depending on an earthquakes severity, can damage homes hundreds of miles away. In 2011, an earthquake near Washington D.C. was felt as far away as Cincinnati. Since earthquakes have the power to injure family members and damage your property, it’s important to be prepared before the next quake. Here are three tips you can use now to prepare:

  1. Talk to your insurance agent
    Homeowners’ insurance does not automatically cover damage caused by earthquakes. Be sure to check with an agent to see if an earthquake endorsement should be added to your homeowners’ insurance policy.
  2. Create an emergency plan with your family
    According to Ready.gov, it’s important to locate safe spots in each room of the house. These spots could be under a sturdy table, or against an inside wall. Hold regular earthquake drills with your family to reinforce the safe spots locations. If an earthquake occurs, Ready.gov suggests you drop, cover, and hold on to prevent injury.
  3. Make your home earthquake ready
    Taking steps to make your home more earthquake resistant can minimize damage from quakes. Here are a few steps you can take around the house, from Ready.gov:

    • Fasten shelves securely to the walls.
    • Install flexible pipe settings to avoid gas or water leaks.
    • Repair any deep cracks in foundations or ceilings. You may need to bring in a professional to evaluate if your home has signs of structural defects.
    • Fasten heavy items, like pictures and mirrors, securely to walls. Also secure top heavy objects and ceiling lights.

Earthquakes are scary and incredibly destructive. Have you taken any steps to make your home more earthquake ready? If you’re interested in learning more about adding an earthquake endorsement to your insurance policy, the AssuredPartners NL team of personal insurance agents can help. To learn more or to contact an agent, visit: AssuredPartners NL Personal Lines.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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