How to Prepare for an Earthquake

28 Sep How to Prepare for an Earthquake

In these past two months, the news has been full of coverage of natural disasters, from hurricanes to earthquakes. As we’re based in Los Angeles, these series of nearby earthquakes give us cause to make sure we’re as prepared for an earthquake as one can be.

Particularly if you live in California, you may be concerned about how you can help protect your family and home from an earthquake. While there’s no preventing damage from happening, you may feel more confident when an earthquake happens if you take a few preparations.

Create a Disaster Preparedness Plan

Especially if you have kids, you want to make sure you and your family know what to do and where to go when an earthquake happens. A Disaster Preparedness Plan should be a written document you create with your family that outlines the steps to take. To start, identify the best place for cover in your home. Most experts recommend you stay indoors, rather than go outside because large trees and electrical wires can fall around you. Instead, stay in your home and duck and cover under a sturdy desk or table, or inside an interior door frame. Keep clear of any spaces where items can fall on you, such as kitchen appliances in cupboards and bookcases in the office.

Next, teach your kids how to signal for help if they become trapped. If an earthquake happens, hand out emergency whistles to blow if they become trapped. Or, knock repeatedly on a hard surface around you. Scream for help if you hear voices nearby.

Build an Earthquake Kit

Your home should have an earthquake kit containing basic items, such as food and water, as well as first aid supplies, hygiene products, important documents, and emergency contact numbers. Store this kit somewhere easily accessible, like a closet or kitchen pantry. Rather than purchasing a premade kit, create your own so you can personalize it with your favorite snacks, any necessary medication, and any toys your kids may want. The city of Los Angeles compiled a great, comprehensive list of items to include in your kit, which you can check out here.

Depending on the size of your home, you may want to pack two earthquake kits and store them in different areas, in case you can’t access one side of your home. Make sure everyone in your family knows where these kits are stored.

Know How to Turn Off the Gas Line

A broken gas line can leak flammable gas, potentially causing an explosion. Make sure you know how to turn off your gas manually. If you rent, ask your landlord where the gas is. You may want to install an automatic valve, which will shut off the gas when it experiences shaking from an earthquake.

You should also make sure you have a few fire extinguishers nearby and in other areas of your house, like your kitchen and garage.

Invest in Earthquake Insurance

Only 17% of California’s homeowners have earthquake insurance, and often it’s because people assume they won’t need it, or that it will cost too much. But the same can be said about car insurance or health insurance; while we may cross our fingers in hope we never need it, it can be valuable in which to invest for greater peace of mind. Speak with your insurance agent or financial professional to evaluate your earthquake insurance options and how much a policy may be to cover your home.

Preparing for an Earthquake

Natural disasters can be terrifying, and while there’s no preventing them from happening, preparing ahead of time for them can help you feel more confident if they do occur. If you’ve yet to invest in earthquake insurance, or have questions about an appropriate policy, don’t hesitate to contact us by calling (323) 254-3072 or booking your 30 minute free phone consultation.

About Mason & Associates, Inc.

Mason & Associates, Inc. was founded in 1989, specializing in Life Planning for individuals, families and small businesses. Life Planning places a person’s core life values at the heart of the advice process and focuses on the human aspects of financial planning.

As a client, your personal story is key to our planning process. That is why we strive to build a close relationship that will encompass every aspect of your life. Together with our team of professionals, we guide you through the process of identifying what is important to you, your goals, your dreams. We then put into place a financial road map to set you on your way towards achieving your objectives.

Our responsibility does not end there. As you encounter bumps in the road, changes in goals or any other roadblocks, we are there to offer advice and guidance. We are there to celebrate your successes and cope with your challenges. We work alongside your other professionals such as your attorney and your CPA to be sure all of your legal and financial needs are aligned.

Brent Mason