The 2023 Great Shakeout

Posted on October 17, 2023 at 08:02 PM

Worldwide “Great Shakeout” is a reminder to be prepared – and to consider earthquake insurance

Are you and your family ready for “the big one?” Everyone in Washington, Oregon and Idaho is encouraged to drop, cover and hold for a worldwide earthquake drill on Thursday, October 19, at 10:19 a.m. The 2023 Great Shakeout drill provides an opportunity to practice earthquake safety at home, work and school.

The NW Insurance Council wants to remind Washington, Oregon, and Idaho residents to consider taking steps now – before disaster strikes - to help protect your home, family, and business.

Tips and guidance about how to conduct the Great Shakeout can be found at Knowing what to do during an earthquake is critical for personal safety. It's also important to protect your family’s financial future, which starts with knowing about Earthquake and Flood insurance.

Earthquake damage is not covered by most standard homeowners and business insurance policies, but is available either as a separate policy, as an endorsement to your Homeowners or Renters Insurance policy or through a specialty carrier.

Tsunami damage also is not covered under most standard Homeowners, Renters and Business Owners insurance policies, but is available with a Flood Insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or from some private insurance companies. Check with your agent or insurance company for more details on how you can protect yourself against the devastating effects of an earthquake or tsunami.

The Northwest region has the second highest risk of earthquake in the United States. In March of 2020, a 6.5 magnitude earthquake shook the Boise area and could be felt across the region. Seismologists say a massive 8 or 9 magnitude earthquake could occur at any time along the Cascadia Subduction Zone that stretches south from Vancouver Island to Northern California.

Planning ahead to survive a disaster could save the lives of you and your family, and having the right insurance will help your family or business recover more quickly if an earthquake or tsunami strikes. Now is the time to include a talk with your insurance company or agent in your emergency preparedness plan."

NW Insurance Council offers the following earthquake and disaster preparedness tips:

  • Consider Earthquake Insurance for your home and business. Check with your insurance company, agent or specialty carrier such as GeoVera to find out about your coverage options.
  • Damage to vehicles caused by earthquake is covered if owners add optional Comprehensive Coverage to their auto policies.
  • 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.”
  • If you’re driving when an earthquake hits, drive slowly to the side of the road, stop and set the parking brake. Avoid overpasses, bridges, power lines and other hazards and stay inside your car.
  • 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.
  • 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 at least a three-day supply of drinking water and food you don't have to refrigerate or cook. (Emergency management experts say two weeks’ worth of supplies is even better.) 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 an inventory of all your possessions, including descriptions, serial numbers, purchase dates, amounts and receipts – as detailed as possible. Even walking through your home and garage with a camera or smart phone and recording information to store online for later access can help speed the insurance claims process after a devastating loss. Home inventory software for your laptop or smart phone is available online or from many insurance companies.

For more information about Property & Casualty Insurance, visit NW Insurance Council.

View All Posts