When you think about an earthquake, you probably associate this disaster mainly with California. The truth is, an earthquake can happen anywhere in the United States and Canada, and they can happen at any time. Are you and your family prepared? If not, you may want to familiarize yourself with these earthquake safety tips.
The best protection during an earthquake is to get under large pieces of furniture, such as a desk, table, or bench. The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings, at exits, and alongside exterior walls. Fatalities often happen when people run out of buildings and get hit by falling debris from collapsing walls. Ground movement during an earthquake is seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass and falling objects.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has information to help you prepare for all types of disasters, including earthquakes.
Steps to take to prepare for a Michigan earthquake:
- Check your home for hazards:
- Fasten shelves securely to walls.
- Store large, heavy objects and breakable items on lower shelves.
- Hang pictures and mirrors away from areas where people sit and sleep.
- Check for defective electrical wiring and gas leaks since they are potential fire hazards.
- Identify safe places in each room that are away from where glass could shatter, or heavy furniture might topple, such as under sturdy furniture or against an inside wall.
- Locate safe, open places outside that are away from falling debris and electrical lines.
- Have disaster supplies on hand, including:
- Portable battery-operated radio
- First-aid kit and essential medicines
- Emergency food and water
- Hand-operated can opener
- Cash and credit cards
- Sturdy shoes
- Develop an emergency communication plan. Designate a place to meet in case family members are separated. Ask an out-of-state relative to be your family contact, and make sure everyone has his or her phone number.
A little planning can help you and your family weather disasters of any kind more safely, and remember, earthquake damage is generally not covered by your homeowner’s insurance, including your insurance agent in your planning.
Contact an insurance agent to see how Michigan disasters may impact your insurance:
Finally, in Michigan, contact a Local Michigan agent to get information on how an earthquake can impact your homeowner’s insurance or call 248-888-1134. For more insurance safety tips or to learn how to Prepare for Michigan Hurricanes click the highlighted link.