Tornadoes, hurricanes and other weather might have a higher chance of happening at certain times of year. Earthquakes, not so much. A quake can strike anywhere, at any time. Here in California, and especially in San Francisco, we know that. We live in one of the most active earthquake zones in the world.
Since there’s no such thing as earthquake season, you cannot let your guard down. You have to maintain a state of vigilance and preparedness in case a quake were to strike.
Earthquake Preparedness in 2018
Limited quake warning systems exist. However, they still cannot perfectly predict the chances of a seismic event. Homeowners in quake zones therefore always must be on alert. You likely understand that quakes can cause major property damage and personal injuries. Therefore, it’s best to be ready in case one strikes suddenly.
First of all, maintain earthquake insurance on your property. This is an important form of protection, particularly for residents of quake zones. Coverage can likely include possession losses and structure damage from quakes. It might also cover living expenses in case you have to leave your home during repairs. However, keep in mind that exclusions might exist on your policy for certain damages. Talk to your agent about the best form of quake insurance for your home.
Both before and after you get insurance, take other preparedness steps.
- If constructing or remodeling a home, consider incorporating quake-resistant features. These may include reinforced foundations, stronger roofing or other items.
- Install emergency systems in your home. These might range from simple smoke and fire alarms to emergency water and gas cutoff valves.
- Know how to store your most valuable possessions to minimize movement and damage.
- Create an emergency kit for your home. This might include:
- Medical supplies, including prescription medication
- Non-perishable food and water
- Batteries, including charging sticks for phones or other electronics
- Copies of your insurance policies, identification and other paperwork
- Have information on local quake services in your area. This might include connections to police, fire and medical services.
- Figure out the best shelters in your home to help protect you during a quake. Usually, the best places to shelter are under low, sturdy objects. They can help shelter you from falling objects.
After the quake, see to the immediate safety of you and your family. Follow the orders of the authorities and evacuate your home as needed. Contact your insurer at (415) 512-2100 as soon as it is convenient to do so.