Earthquakes are more common in California than other parts of the country, and even minor ones can cause a lot of damage. Here are some ways you and your family can prepare, so you can minimize its effect on your life.
Have a plan
Before an earthquake strikes, it's important to have a plan in place so everyone in your household knows just what to do. An evacuation plan should be one of the first things you create. Because of the damage and destruction that can be caused by an earthquake, it's important to have a safe place designated for your family to go to escape danger. Use a floor plan of your home and discuss ways to exit each room, and acquire any equipment necessary like a rope ladder.
Make sure everyone knows where emergency supplies such as food, water, first aid kit, fire extinguishers, flashlights, etc. are located. Make sure adults or responsible older children know where the utility switches are so the gas, electricity, and water can be turned off if necessary. Designate an outdoor meeting place that everyone knows to go to if in an evacuation is necessary.
Protect your important documents
It's also important to gather all of your important documents and store them in a safe place, like a fireproof safe. Some documents that should be kept in a safe place include:
- Birth certificates
- Titles and other proof of ownership documents for your vehicles,
- Social security cards
- Insurance policies
- Photographs and documents for the contents of your house, especially high-value possessions such as jewelry, electronics, antiques, paintings, etc.
These documents will be important for your insurance company so you can replace as much as possible and get your life back quickly.
Another important document that you should include is a list of important information that will be necessary in an emergency. It should list information such as:
- Important telephone numbers for the police department, fire department, medical providers, etc.
- Contact information of your insurance company and your policy numbers
- Contact information for the electric, gas, and water companies
- Contact information of your neighbors and family members whom you would wish to contact in an emergency
- Medical information about your family including allergies, medications, and any other conditions that require routine treatment
- Information about the vehicles you own, including the VIN numbers and license plate numbers
- Your banking and card information
- Stations on the radio and TV that broadcast emergency information
Know how to respond quickly
It’s important that you know how to react if you feel the beginnings of an earthquake.
During an earthquake, you should:
- Get to the safest place in your home, which is near the inside walls, as those are usually the sturdiest and least likely to collapse.
- If possible, seek shelter under a desk, table or low-sitting piece of furniture to protect your head from falling debris. If that is not possible, stay under a doorframe near an inside wall, away from any windows, large furniture or wall hangings that could fall on you.
- Use a pillow to cover and protect your head and face from falling debris and broken glass
- Use a flashlight rather than candles because of potential gas leaks that can cause an explosion if a match is lit.
Once the earthquake has subsided, the work of getting your life back in order begins. Having earthquake insurance is the most effective way to do just that, because most homeowner’s policies do not cover earthquake damage. For more information about earthquake insurance, contact Best Insurance Services in Moreno Valley, CA.