San Diego Residents, please be advised that an Earthquake Advisory has been issued. Help pass the word by sharing this post now!
The warning issued by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services follows a series of small temblors deep under the Salton Sea, which is located on the 800-mile-long San Andres Fault.
LA Times and KTLA has reported a rapid succession of more than 200 earthquakes — three measuring above magnitude 4.0 — In what experts call an Earthquake Swarm, continuing for more than 24 hours.
The Earthquake Advisory will remain in effect until Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. and includes the following counties: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Kern, Ventura, San Bernardino, San Diego and Imperial.
The California Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Council with the California Office of Emergency Services believe that areas along the San Andreas fault have a heightened probability of an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.3 or higher.
Does my current Home Insurance policy include coverage for Earthquake damage?
As you probably know, earthquake damage is not covered by a standard homeowners’’ policy. For the most part, the risk of experiencing significant damage due to an earthquake is not that high in many areas. California, however, is one of the places where the risk is high –– and history has demonstrated just how costly such damage can be.
Earthquake insurance provides protection from the shaking and cracking that can destroy buildings and personal possessions. Coverage for other kinds of damage that may result from earthquakes, such as fire and water damage due to burst gas and water pipes, is provided by standard home and business insurance policies.
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Can dogs predict earthquakes? Can humans? Is there such a thing as ““earthquake weather?”” No, no and no. There are all kinds of myths surrounding earthquakes but the truth is that we have no way of predicting them. Earthquakes are also unaffected by the time of day and can occur in the morning, afternoon or evening. These are the things that make earthquakes so dangerous. We never know when one might occur, which is why people who live in areas prone to earthquakes must be prepared.
- Identify potential hazards in the home and fix them.
Is your water heater safely strapped? Is your flat screen television securely mounted on the wall? Are there tall, heavy pieces of furniture that need to be secured to the wall? Each of these poses a significant hazard both in terms of a family’s safety and costs should damage occur to these fixtures or because of them.
- Create a disaster preparedness plan.
Does your family know what to do when an earthquake occurs? It is very important to make sure everyone in the house knows the right thing to do before, during and following an earthquake. All family members should be able to identify safe spots in the home and know how to ““drop, cover and hold on.”” Keep shoes and flashlights under beds, devise a signal (such as three knocks) if someone becomes trapped, identify a safe spot to meet after the shaking stops, and have practice ““drills”” every now and then to make sure everyone knows what the plan is. These are just a few ideas for how a family should be prepared for an earthquake.
- Prepare disaster supplies kits.
Everyone should have a disaster supply kit –– personally and for the household. Personal kits might include prescription medications, dust masks, flashlights and batteries and copies of personal identification items. Kits should be placed in the home, in the car and at work. You never know where you’ll be when an earthquake occurs. A household kit should include things like essential documents (insurance policies, deeds, etc.), battery-operated radio and batteries, drinking water, non-perishable food items, a first aid kit, tools, garbage bags, supplies and restraints for pets if necessary, blankets, etc. This kit should be stored in a water- resistant and easily-accessible place in the home.
- Identify your building’s potential weak spots and fix them.
If there is any way to strengthen your home from sustaining significant damage from an earthquake, do it! If you need assistance in identifying weak spots, there are professionals out there who specialize in this sort of thing. Examples of weak spots include inadequate foundations, unbraced cripple walls, soft first stories, and unreinforced masonry. If you find any of these kinds of weaknesses in your home, fix them as soon as you can.
- Protect yourself during an earthquake: Drop, Cover and Hold On.
During an earthquake, you should drop to the floor, cover yourself (get under a sturdy table, for example) and hold on until the shaking stops. Avoid things like exterior walls, windows, hanging objects, mirrors and do not go outside! If you’re in bed, cover your head with a pillow and stay there. If you are in your car, pull over and set the parking brake (don’t part under overpasses). If you’re outside, move clear of power lines, trees, buildings, etc. If you’re in a public place such as a stadium or theatre, stay put and cover yourself.
- After the earthquake, check for injuries and damages.
Check everyone for injuries and administer care or first aid immediately. If you are trapped, cover your mouth, nose and eyes from dust. Seek emergency medical care as soon as possible, if necessary. These are all common sense actions. As for damage, your home (or the building you are in at the time of an earthquake) is at risk for fire, gas leaks, power outage and broken lights or appliances. Put out small fires if you can and turn of the main gas valve ONLY if you suspect there is a leak.
- When safe, continue to follow your disaster preparedness plan.
Once your family is safe and you’ve attended to any immediate needs, follow through with your disaster preparedness plan. Remember, aftershocks and tremors may occur for days or weeks following an earthquake. Just because the shaking as stopped doesn’t mean it’s done for good. You must always be prepared.
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