April is Earthquake Preparedness Month – AAA Offers Tips on Staying Prepared for the Next “Big One”

April 2, 2014 10:00 am · 5 comments

When the earth starts shaking, it may be too late. Don’t let another month go by without taking the basic steps needed to prepare your family for a major earthquake.

April is Earthquake Preparedness Month and AAA Northern California is reminding residents that the best way to recover from a quake is to plan for it in advance.

“One of the most important steps homeowners can take is to document their belongings before tragedy strikes,” advised AAA NCNU spokesperson Cynthia Harris. “Take the time to do an inventory of your home, either with photographs or a video camera. Then, store those records in an off-site location like a safe deposit box.”

AAA Earthquake Safety Tips

  • Create an earthquake survival kit. This is one of the most important steps you can take. The kit should include canned goods and can opener, two to four quarts of water per person per day, battery operated or hand crank radio, sanitary supplies, a camp stove, portable radio, flashlight and spare batteries, and tools to turn off utilities.
  • Know how to shut off your home’s gas, water and electricity. You should also make sure your water heater is securely fastened to a wall or post with two metal straps.
  • Conduct family earthquake drills. Make sure everyone knows which areas in a room are the safest. This may be underneath a table or against a wall. Stay away from windows, fireplaces and tall furniture.
  • Decide where your family will reunite if you’re separated. Choose a friend or relative you can call after an earthquake to let them know your location and condition. Phone lines are often overloaded or damaged in an earthquake and specifying one point of contact for your entire family will help avoid a strain on the system.
  • Childproof your cabinet doors. It may seem like an annoyance initially, but installing latches on your cabinet doors can prevent them from flying open in an earthquake. By properly securing the doors you can keep precious belongings from spilling out and breaking.
  • Check your insurance for earthquake coverage. Knowing what coverage you have can help speed up your recovery after a big quake. Most homeowners policies do NOT cover damage resulting from an earthquake, and in most cases a separate earthquake endorsement or policy is needed. You can find out more at AAA.com/insurance.
Take care of yourself first. April 2, 2014 at 10:37 AM

The government is not going to be able to save anyone when the big disaster hits. It may take weeks to restore even minimal services.

If you don’t take care of yourself, then there is no one to blame for your failure but yourself. No excuse is acceptable.

Mr. Pink April 2, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Who can afford earthquake coverage?

The Original Anon E. Mouse April 2, 2014 at 1:39 PM

And don’t forget our four legged furry companions! Keep a small supply of canned food or sealed dry food plus water separate from the house in your car or garage, should your house be damaged.
Keep a crate or carrier by the front door in case of evacuation (or fire). If you haven’t already get one of these to inform rescue or emergency personnel there are pets inside, should you get trapped away from home for a few days.
The “big one” is overdue, tis best to be fully prepared even if that day doesn’t come for the next ten years.

OnYourKnees April 2, 2014 at 2:00 PM

This is true–a crate for them must be by the door.

Anon April 3, 2014 at 7:53 AM

I had Earth Quake insurance until the increased my deductible to $50,000 increased my payment by 400% and then reduced my coverage to a point I could rebuild the covered portion of my house for less than my insurance.

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