October 11, 2018

Earthquake Preparedness: Before, During and After

There is no such thing as “earthquake weather.” Statistically, there is an equal distribution of earthquakes in cold weather, hot weather, rainy weather, etc. They can occur without warning and can strike at any time. Luckily, with education, you can prepare for the uncertainty and know what to do before, during and after an earthquake.

Before

• Know evacuation routes and earthquake safety plans of places you occupy often.
• Pick safe areas in each room of your home, workplace or school. A safe place could be under a sturdy piece of furniture or against an interior wall away from windows and tall furniture that could fall.
• Participate in the Great Shakeout Earthquake Drills
o An annual opportunity to practice how to protect yourself during earthquakes
o October 18, 2018 – Millions of people around the world will practice “Drop, Cover, and Hold On”
o Register at: http://shakeout.org/register
• Make sure your home is securely anchored to its foundation
• Bolt and brace water heaters, gas appliances, tall furniture, overhead light fixtures
• Hang heavy items away from beds, couches etc.
• Learn how to shut off gas valves in your home
• Learn about your area’s seismic building standards and land use codes before you begin new construction
• Keep and maintain an emergency supply kit in an easy-to-access location
• Explore earthquake coverage with your insurance agent
o ICAT offers comprehensive earthquake policies for both homeowners and business owners. Learn more here: https://www.icat.com/our-products

During

Movies have taught us to stand in a doorway when there is an earthquake for protection, but that’s actually an unsafe way of protecting yourself from earthquakes, as a doorway cannot shelter you from flying or falling objects.
Here’s what you should do:
DROP, COVER, HOLD ON!
• Drop to the ground
• Cover your head and neck with your arms and seek shelter under a sturdy piece of furniture—preferably one bolted to the floor
• Hold on and be prepared to move with it until the shaking stops
What not to do:
• Stand in a doorway
• Run outside
• Stand near windows or heavy, unsecured furniture

After

• Be prepared for aftershocks
• Check yourself and others for injuries
• Treat any injuries
• Assess the surrounding damage and be aware of broken objects
• If your home is deemed unsafe, get everyone out
• Avoid damaged buildings
• Return to your home only when authorities deem it safe to do so
• If your home or business is damaged and you have an earthquake policy with ICAT, contact Boulder Claims and we will get you back on your feet

Now you have armed yourself with the knowledge to protect your property and your loved ones before, during and after an earthquake. Don’t forget to register for the Great Shakeout and join millions of people around the world to Drop, Cover and Hold On!

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