and disaster preparation
can protect your home or business
SEATTLE - An earthquake can devastate
your home, business and finances in just minutes. Geologists say
the Northwest is overdue for a giant coastal quake of 8 or 9 magnitude,
so now is the time to prepare and consider purchasing Earthquake
To help you protect your home, family
and business, the NW Insurance Council offers tips on how to prepare
for an earthquake and encourages homeowners and business owners
to consider both Earthquake and Flood Insurance. Earthquake and
tsunami damage are not covered under most standard Homeowners,
Renters and Business Owners insurance policies.
"The Washington and Oregon coasts and
the Puget Sound region are veined with unstable seismic fault
lines that can spell disaster for homeowners and businesses,"
said Karl Newman, NW Insurance Council president. "If your home
or business is at risk, it makes sense to consider Earthquake
The Northwest region has the second highest
risk of earthquake in the United States. Geologists say a massive
8 or 9 magnitude earthquake could occur in the Pacific Northwest
at any time along the Cascadia Subduction Zone that stretches
south from Vancouver Island to Northern California.
Insurance is available either as a separate policy, as an
endorsement to your Homeowners or Renters Insurance policy or
through a specialty carrier such as GeoVera.
Check with your agent or insurance company
for more details on how you can protect yourself against the devastating
effects of an earthquake.
NW Insurance Council offers the following
earthquake and disaster
- Consider Earthquake Insurance for your home and business.
Check with your insurance company, agent or specialty carrier
such as GeoVera to make
sure you have the coverage you need.
- Damage to vehicles caused by earthquake or tsunami is covered
if owners add optional Comprehensive
Coverage to their auto policies.
- Damage to personal contents inside a vehicle is covered under
standard Homeowners or Renters
- When an earthquake strikes, remain indoors and use the internationally
recognized protocol: "Drop to the ground, Cover
by getting under a sturdy desk or table and Hold
on until the shaking stops."
- Disaster experts say do not run to another room to get under
a desk or table if one isn't near you. Instead drop to the ground
in an inside corner of the building and cover your head and
neck with your hands and arms.
- If you live along the coast, an earthquake
in your area is a natural tsunami warning. Do not stay in low-lying
coastal areas after a local earthquake. Do not return to such
areas until local authorities tell you that the danger of a
- Know where and how to shut off electricity, gas and water
at main switches and valves following an earthquake. Check with
your local utilities office for instructions.
- Be sure to have a flashlight and a battery-powered radio on
hand in case power is cut off.
- Create a family evacuation plan and develop a family emergency
survival kit that includes a three-day supply of drinking
water and food you don't have to refrigerate or cook. The kit
should also contain first aid supplies, a weather radio, batteries,
clothing, blankets, medicine, copies of your insurance policies
and some basic tools.
- Maintain a home inventory of all of your possessions, including
descriptions and serial numbers and keep this list (or video)
in a safe location away from your home, such as in a safety
deposit box. Free, downloadable Home
Inventory Software is available from the Insurance Information
For more information on how to protect
yourself and property from an earthquake, tsunami or other disasters,
NW Insurance Council
or call (800) 664-4942.
NW Insurance Council is a nonprofit,
public-education organization funded by member insurance companies
serving Washington, Oregon and Idaho.