Every state in the U.S. is prone to earthquakes, and the majority are at a moderate to high risk. Earthquakes can hit suddenly and without any warning. Because of the lack of warning for these potentially devastating natural occurrences, it is important that you and your property are ready at all times.
Before an Earthquake:
Have Insurance Coverage In Place: CIBA’s Earthquake coverage for California makes sure your property if fully covered* in the event of an earthquake. Check with your broker to see the benefits of the CIBA Program.
Auto Gas Shut-off Valves: Earthquakes can damage gas lines leading to leaks which can spark into an even more disastrous situation. Installing an Auto Gas Shut-Off Valve helps reduce that risk.
Inspections: Ensuring your property is sturdy before an earthquake can decrease the potential amount of damage that can occur by a sudden shake or shift.
Survival Kit: Have a survival kit ready at all times. Properly stock it with plenty of water, food and a First Aid kit in case of injury. For a full list, visit a reliable site such as the American Red Cross.
Have a plan (family & pets): Put a plan in place that includes your pets as well. This way, when an earthquake hits, everyone is aware of what needs to be done.
Secure large items: Walk through your home and determine large items that may become hazardous if an earthquake hits. Typical items include: televisions, computers, bookcases, water heaters, etc.
Know where all utility shut-offs are located: Earthquakes can shift gas, power and plumbing lines, and break cables. Be aware of all utility shut-offs, so you can reduce further damage.
Have extinguishers: Fires are common after earthquakes. Have extinguishers and know how to use them in case a fire occurs at your property.
During an Earthquake:
Take Cover: Drop & Take Cover immediately! Crawl quickly under the nearest cover (table or desk) & hold on. If no shelter, stay up against an interior wall away from windows. Stay on knees, covering all vital organs until it is safe to emerge.
Stay aware of surroundings
Promptly inspect utilities, shut off as needed: Damage to utilities can lead to further destruction, reduce risk by shutting off all damaged utilities.
Conduct a property inspection for damage: Hire a professional to inspect your property after all earthquakes. Professionals are able to find damage that may be harder to see. Having a full report is essential when assembling your claim.
Call your Insurance Agency: Do not delay when making a claim; some states have limitations for how long after a disaster you are able to file a claim. Insurance can only help you rebuild if you reach out. CIBA offers its insureds with a 24/7 hotline (ph. 818.645.1079) for reporting claims and its in-house claims team work hard to help your property get back to what it was.
* Subject to the terms and conditions of the policy.