Shake it out: How to prepare for an earthquake
When you think of earthquakes, you may think of the other parts of the United States, like the San Andreas Fault that runs through California or other earthquake-prone areas of the world. However, according to the United States Geological Survey, severe earthquakes can occur in the eastern part of the country. Over ten years ago Louisa County experienced a 5.8 magnitude earthquake that was felt up to 600 miles away and caused over $80 million in damages to homes, schools, and public buildings.
International ShakeOut Day, October 20th, serves as a reminder for all of us about the dangers of earthquakes to our lives and property and provides an opportunity to practice how to be safe before, during, and after earthquakes.
Here’s how you can protect yourself and your property before, during, and after an earthquake:
- Invest in protective home upgrades: some home modifications can include reinforcing masonry and concrete with steel bars and mesh or bracing crawlspace sidewalls with plywood. Some do-it-yourself modifications include securing your water heater and other large appliances to walls and applying safety film to windows to prevent shattering.
- Create a home inventory: this can be completed in writing or through home inventory apps and reviewed annually with your Rockingham Insurance agent. An inventory will help you assess any damages to your property and help with filing a claim.
- Make an emergency plan: your plan should include emergency contact information and a meeting place should you become separated from others. In addition to your plan, you should also prepare an emergency supply kit that includes plenty of food and water.
- During an earthquake: if you are in a car, pull over and stop and set your parking brake. If you are inside, stay put and avoid doorways. If you’re outdoors, stay away from buildings. You can also use the drop, cover and hold on technique.
- After an earthquake: Be ready to drop, cover, and hold on if you feel an aftershock. If you’re in a damaged home or building, go outside and quickly move away. Finally, check to see if you or others are injured, and call 911 if you or others need medical attention.
To learn more about how you can participate in a Great ShakeOut drill, visit this site. Your local Rockingham Insurance agent is standing by to discuss earthquake coverage as an additional homeowners insurance option.