The Illinois-centered earthquake that struck on April 18th might have gone largely unmentioned in California, where jaded residents often quip that “if it’s under 6.0 it doesn’t count,” but it’s a clear reminder that quakes can hit anywhere there’s a fault line � in fact, one of the largest quakes ever was along the Mississippi River.
Earthquake coverage is never part of any homeowners policy, but it is offered by most major insurance companies, including State Farm, Farmers, and Prudential, across the country. Generally speaking, it’s not that expensive, even in California where the risk is greater.
Whether you just want to be prepared in case an unexpected quake hits close to your home, or live in a place where temblors are relatively normal, there are steps you can take to ensure the safety of your family:
- Strap water heaters to the wall.
- Use flexible connectors or tubing for gas-fueled appliences.
- Keep beds away from picture frames, hanging plants, mirrors, and chandeliers that can fall, especially if they’re made of glass.
- Make sure anything hung on the wall (mirrors, art) is securely attached.
- Bolt or strap tall furniture, like book cases and china cabinets, to the wall.
- Be sure your house is bolted to the foundation
- Keep an earthquake survival kit in or near your car. It should include basic first aid supplies, bottled water, a battery powered radio, a flashlight, non-perishable foods and a can opener, blankets, and extra clothes.
Earthquakes generally only last a few seconds, but they come with little warning and a lot of impact, and earthquake insurance is only helpful if you have it. Consult with your regular insurance agent to see about adding this coverage to your policy.