Disaster Information: Earthquakes
California may be the state notorious for earthquakes, but did you know the Mississippi River in the New Madrid region, as well as the southern Appalachians, New England and Alaska are also rated "High" or "Very High" for earthquake risk?
Find out the risk level for the state in which you live.
IF YOU LIVE IN A CITY WITH CONSIDERABLE EARTHQUAKE RISK, PREPARATION IS KEY!
After an earthquake, would your family be prepared to cope with the emergency? Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene, but it could take several hours, or even days, to receive help. Your family will cope best by preparing for disaster before it strikes.
To help you know what steps to take before, during and after an earthquake, we hope you will utilize the following links from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS).
To prepare for potential earthquakes, it is recommended that you review and understand FEMA's list of common earthquake terms.
How do I prepare my family?
In addition to FEMA's recommended disaster supplies, IBHS recommends packing these other items:
- A wrench and other basic tools
- Work gloves
- Portable lanterns
- Extra car and house keys
- Important documents, including insurance policies.
- Cell phone batteries and a charger.
Above all, you and your family members should be familiar with your community's disaster preparedness plans and create your own customized family plan. It is also important to learn about the plans of your workplace, children's schools or day care centers.
How do I prepare my home or business?
IBHS has published a document detailing how to reduce six of the most common, non-structural earthquake risks for less than $70. Click here to download and print a copy.
- Commercial Fire Protection Systems
- Gas Lines
- Water Heaters
- Suspended Ceilings
- Picture Frames and Bulletin Boards
- Flat Screen Televisions
- Cabinets and Drawers
Work involving your home's structure tends to be quite complex and generally requires the expertise of a registered design professional, such as an architect, engineer or a licensed building contractor. Here are two helpful resources to review with your architect or builder. You may also want to check with your local building officials to be sure that your plans comply with local building codes.
IBHS has also developed disaster-resistant construction standards for homes and businesses through its Fortified...for safer living® program. Its standards call for more reinforcement than is required by most building codes, so when earthquakes rumble, the added connections transfer the forces on the building's walls and roof to the foundation, giving it better chance for survival. To find out more about the program, visit the IBHS' Fortified webpage.
Certain ANPAC clients are eligible receive discounts on their homeowners' premiums for building to the Fortified program's standards. If you've built a Fortified home, and you'd like to find out if you're eligible for a discount, use our Agent Locator to contact your local American National agent.
What should I do in the event of a real earthquake?
How do I report a claim for property damage?
Fortunately, as these resources indicate, there are several measures we can take to protect ourselves and our property from earthquake damage. Equally important is reviewing your insurance policies. Coverage that made sense when you established your original policies often needs to be adjusted over time. If you haven't already, now is a good time to schedule a professional insurance review with your insurance agent!
A professional review of your insurance policies can save you time and money and help ensure that you have the coverage that best fits your needs! Depending on your residence, for instance, you may want to learn about American National's earthquake endorsement. Your personalized American National Professional Insurance Review is the perfect opportunity for you to ask questions about your current policy and perhaps learn about new features or discounts you may be eligible to receive.