3 Tips on Recovering from an Earthquake’s Aftermath
Unlike wildfires or hurricanes, there isn’t a predictable season for earthquakes. There has been the use case of probabilities, but, certainly never a forecasted or prewarning system available.
“About 5,000 earthquakes of varying severity occur on Earth in any given year. Over the last 100 years in the U.S., while seismic activity is most commonly associated with California, earthquakes have occurred in 39 states, and have inflicted damage in all 50 states. Indeed, in some areas, such as Oklahoma, where fracking is being used to extract crude oil, there has been an increase in earthquakes, suggesting that these states may be at higher risk as well.” According to www.iii.org
As unpredictable as they are, there are steps that can be taken to prepare for such an event. In this case, we’ll be reviewing what to do in the aftermath.
Find protection for yourself and your loved ones.
As blatantly obvious as this may seem, make sure that you and your family are out of harm’s way. Be aware of the aftershock that occurs after a major earthquake. Find medical attention if necessary and stay away from the coastal areas as tsunamis may follow. If you’re able to help, move others and yourself out of the way of objects that could fall or damaged areas.
Inspect your home.
The shock of an earthquake can be surreal. Once the event has stopped, check your home or building for vulnerable areas (electrical, plumbing/gas, sewer lines.) Inspect your electrical system or lights to be sure that everything is functioning correctly. If there are any smells of gas, immediately shut off your gas line and open the windows. Look around for signs of spills, liquids, or broken objects that can be immediately remedied. Lastly, check your foundation for any unusual cracks and take photos as necessary.
Safeguarding your financial interest.
Assuming you have earthquake insurance or an endorsement allowing coverage to existing for the earth movement, contact your insurance agent or carrier immediately to report the loss. Take detailed pictures and notes of the damaged property as it will likely come in handy once there’s been an assigned adjuster to your claim. Take time in finding a trusted contractor that has experience with the repair work ahead of you. All contractors specialize in different niches so finding a reputable contractor that’s well rated may save you a huge amount of headache in the future.