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Ask anyone who has experienced a large earthquake; the experience is not fun. Walls shake, the earth rolls, and you have no control over what might happen for the next few seconds – or up to a minute – as the roller coaster continues. Californians are more aware after the recent temblor in Napa.

Now, there is more concern as the U.S. Geological Survey has expanded their maps of earthquake prone areas. The new mapping shows 42 states now facing a reasonable chance of a damaging quake within 50 years, with 16 sates facing a high risk of damaging ground movement. Those high risk states are Alaska, Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Before a major shake “rocks your world,” Ready.gov has a comprehensive list of earthquake preparedness tips:

  • Prepare an emergency kit, have an evacuation plan and determine how your family will communicate
  • Fasten shelves securely to walls
  • Make sure large or heavy items are on lower shelves and breakable items like bottles, glass and china are stored in low, closed cabinets with latches
  • Repair defective electrical wiring or leaky gas connections and install flexible pipe fittings to avoid gas or water leaks
  • Locate safe spots in each room under a sturdy table or against an inside wall
  • Hold earthquake drills with your entire family

Safety is paramount after the shaking has subsided. The American Red Cross has a checklist of does and don’ts following an earthquake that include:

  • Turn off water and gas main-lines to your dwelling
  • Stay away from downed power lines and damaged structures
  • Extinguish small fires
  • Clean up spilled medications, bleach or other dangerous liquids
  • Monitor updates with battery powered or hand-crank radios
  • Offer help to those who might be trapped or need special assistance.

Once you are in a safe place, contact your insurance company. Keep in mind that earthquake damage is not a part of most people’s home insurance policy; separate earthquake coverage needs to be purchased. Earthquake insurance is available as an endorsement to California Casualty homeowners in California, Oregon, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Rhode Island and California Casualty has partnered with GeoVera to underwrite earthquake insurance for homeowners in California, Oregon and Washington. If you need earthquake protection, call a California Casualty advisor today at 1.800.800.9410.

Sources for this article:

http://www.ready.gov/earthquakes

http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2014/1091/

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/hazards/

http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/earthquake

California Casualty

California Casualty

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