Earthquake Awareness: Are you prepared?

Real Estate Agent with Pam Winterbauer Real Estate

April is the month of the 1906 "big quake".  I have lived in California all my life and lived with the little jolts every now and again.  I remember the last one in 1989 the Loma Prieta.  We hear the next big one is coming soon, very soon and we need to be prepared.

 Earthquakes are one of the most common natural disasters and are also known to be one of the most destructive. Often times it is not one home or business that is affected by an earthquake, but an entire region. Here are some refresher's on getting ready. 

Would you be prepared if an Earthquake struck today? It is important to plan what you would do before, during and after an Earthquake. Before an earthquake, you need to prepare an emergency kit with enough food and water for 72 hours, first aid supplies, portable radio and flashlight with batteries, blankets, cash and a photo ID. You should also know where the safe spots (under sturdy tables or against and interior wall) and danger spots (near windows, mirrors, unsecured furniture) are located within in your home or office. Decide ahead of time where your family will meet up if you are separated, and learn how to shut off gas, electricity and water in case your lines are damaged. Make sure that each family member or coworker is aware of the plans and knows what to do in the event of an earthquake.

Where do you go to stay safe? During an earthquake, get under a sturdy table or desk if indoors. If there isn't a table or desk near you, cover as much of your face and head as possible with your arms and crouch near an inside corner of your building or home. If possible, do not go outdoors until the shaking has stopped. According to the FEMA Web site, in the 1933 Long Beach earthquake, many of the 120 casualties were caused by people running outside of buildings and being hit by falling debris or collapsing walls. If you are outside, get in an open area without trees, power lines or walls. The greatest danger is to be too close to a building that could potentially crumble. If driving, pull your car over and stay put until the earthquake is over. After the earthquake, avoid roads and bridges that may be damaged.

What do I do after an Earthquake? Much like any natural disaster, the first seventy- two hours after an earthquake are the most critical. You have to assume that electricity, gas, communication channels and water may not be available. In addition, public safety services such as the police and fire departments will be busy handling serious crises events. Utilize the emergency kit you prepared before the disaster, leave a message with friends and family to let them know where you can be found, check for gas and water leaks and report them to your utility company. Also be prepared for aftershocks. Aftershocks are usually not as intense as the initial quake, but may still cause damage. It is also important to stay away from any damaged areas. This may include roads, bridge and buildings in your area. Stay where you are unless directed by emergency personnel.

The information above can be found at  This is an excellent site!


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Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate
Pam:  Crowley, Texas got hit last night by what some feel might have been a tornado that didn't quite touch ground... but caused quite a bit of damage.  So, us poor lil Texans prolly don't think about earthquakes too much.  But... thanks so much for sharing things that many really need to be aware of.
Apr 24, 2008 05:46 PM #1
Terri Habecker
AIG, Allied, Fireman's Fund, CNA, Travelers,The Hartford, Pr - Dana Point, CA
Life Matters & So Does Your Insurance Co

I have earthquake insurance. It doesn't quite do the job to cover my loss in a major quake, but I guess better than nothing. I am built on a hillside with a 25 foot high retaining wall and 14 caissons. It would cost approximatly 150,000 plus demo costs to rebuild. Ca. Earthquake has a 15% deductible at best and does not cover walls.

The homes located closer to fault lines are priced accordingly. For more information on Ca. Earthquake coverage and getting an instant quote, visit

Something many people do not know, is renters and condo renter/owners can purchase Earthquake insurance with their Renter or owner policy. Earthquake is not a stand alone policy, it must match your underlying policy.

Pam, thanks for the great information. For people who have not lived in California, having the right information and what to do is an important service you offer to your clients.

Apr 25, 2008 03:47 AM #2
Pam Winterbauer
Pam Winterbauer Real Estate - San Ramon, CA
"Providing Blue Ribbon Service"
Terri......thanks for sharing your information.  Your 15% deductable is less that most.  Good shopping there.
Apr 28, 2008 05:23 PM #3
Mike Young, covering the USA - Las Vegas, NV
FHA 203k Consultant 916-758-1809

Years ago my brother in law put a downpayment up for a new home in Antioch, I looked at it on my earthquake fault map and it appeared the fault split his house in half. He went back to the developer and asked and they opened the book of about 250 pages and found it at about page 160. Technically they had disclosed it but it was buried in the forest... he backed out of the deal and purchaed in Oakley. Nice reminder. 

Jun 07, 2012 11:04 AM #4
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Pam Winterbauer

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