The "Drop, Cover and Hold On" 60-second earthquake drill on October 17 at 10:17 a.m. is an event you can't afford to miss. As we countdown to the big day, consider some financial aspects of earthquake preparedness.
You can minimize your financial hardship after a quake by organizing important documents beforehand, strengthening your home or building, and considering earthquake insurance.
A. Include important documents in your "grab-and-go" bag, an emergency kit you keep handy.
You may need to leave your house quickly after an earthquake, fire, or other emergency. Consider what documents you will need if you are away from home for an extended time, such as copies of identification and insurance cards, lists of emergency contact numbers, and photos of belongings in your home, for filing insurance claims. Put all of these important documents in a sealed plastic bag, then place it into your "grab-and-go" bag.
B. Strengthen your home or building.
You can improve the ability of your home or other building to withstand earthquake shaking, especially if you live in a region with significant earthquake risk. Common issues include unbolted foundations, unbraced cripple walls, "soft" first stories, and unreinforced masonry. If you are a renter, encourage your landlord to make needed updates or repairs.
C. Consider insurance.
Renters and homeowners can protect themselves with earthquake insurance. Without earthquake insurance, you will be responsible for all costs to repair or rebuild your home and replace your personal property. Residential policies typically do not cover earthquake damage. For more information on policies, contact your insurance agent. For more information about earthquake insurance benefits, contact the California Earthquake Authority.