January 17, 2014


Are you prepared? You may think you are prepared, but are you REALLY prepared? Do you have guidelines set in place for your family about what to do if an earthquake hits? Do you have an emergency kit put together? Flashlights and shoes close to your beds?

You should speak to your family about what each of you should do in the event of an earthquake. Discuss options for school, work, friend’s houses, the mall or anywhere they go on a regular basis.  Children will probably be frightened if they don’t know what to expect. If you don’t freak out during a quake, then it’s more likely that your child won’t freak out either. If you remain calm and collected, then they will be more likely to follow in your footsteps.

It’s a good idea to make sure all of your heavy furniture such as book cases, china cabinets, and other large furniture is bolted to the walls. Try not to hang heavy pictures or items over beds or places where people sit. If you must, then please make sure they are securely and properly mounted to the wall. Brace any overhead light fixtures or ceiling fans. Install strong latches on storage cabinets and secure items on tall shelves.

Make sure the older kids and adults know how to turn off the water, gas, and electricity in your home. Normally, you don’t need to turn anything off, but if you notice a busted water pipe, smell gas, or think there is an issue with the electricity, it’s imperative that someone knows how to shut them off to avoid injury and/or further damage.

Emergency kits are a great idea. At the very least it should contain the following:

  • Water – one (1) gallon per person, per day
  • Food – non-perishable foods that are simple to prepare (canned food, instant foods)
  • First Aid Kit
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Sanitation items
  • Flashlight
  • Extra Batteries
  • Supply of any medications and medical items that anyone needs
  • Multi-tool
  • Battery powered radio
  • Cell phones and chargers
  • Extra cash
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Blanket(s)
  • Copies of personal documents you may need (medical information and medication list, proof of residence, deed or lease to home, birth certificates, insurance policies, and passports)
  • Map(s) of the area

If your family has additional needs, then consider the following items as well:

  • Glasses, contact lens supplies
  • Hearing aids, specialized medical supplies
  • Baby items (baby food, formula, diapers, toys, clothes, wipes, bottles, etc.)
  • Pet items (bowls, food, collar, tags, leash, sweater, carrier, etc.)
  • Walkie-talkies
  • Hand held can opener
  • Trash Bags
  • Duct tape
  • Liquid bleach
  • Scissors
  • Work gloves
  • Matches
  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels
  • Extra set of car and house keys
  • Games and activities to keep the kids busy

If you prepare ahead of time, and have a plan in place you will be less likely to panic in the event of a major earthquake. Make it easier on yourself and your loved ones by talking to them today!

Please give us a call at 1-800-917-3577 to find out what kind of earthquake insurance coverage (if any) is currently available. Earthquake damage is NOT covered under your regular homeowner’s policy. Coverage limits can vary from company to company. It is a separate coverage and is not always available. After earthquakes of a certain magnitude, most companies will issue a “moratorium” which suspends the ability of agents to write new policies for a certain period of time. You may be able to set something up so your agent can get the policy ready to go, and as soon as the moratorium is lifted, they can submit your application.

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