(SACRAMENTO) National Preparedness Month each September provides an opportunity to act on the frequent advice of scientists, community leaders and emergency managers: Get informed about the different types of emergencies that could happen in your area and take steps to prepare for them.
This year’s theme is “Disasters don’t plan ahead. You can.” And the California Earthquake Authority (CEA) is urging Californians to take that message to heart for one of California’s greatest hazards and take steps to minimize their risk of financial hardship after an earthquake.
“We recommend Californians strengthen their homes and make sure they have the insurance coverage they need to recover from a damaging earthquake,” said CEA CEO Glenn Pomeroy. “Scientists say there’s a greater than 99 percent chance of a magnitude-6.7 earthquake happening in California in the next 30 years. That’s the same size as the Northridge quake that caused $20 billion in residential losses just 23 years ago. Having an earthquake policy could be crucial to financial recovery when the next quake strikes.”
CEA, the country’s largest provider of residential earthquake insurance, offers coverage for California homeowners, mobilehome owners, condo unit owners and renters. Last year, CEA expanded coverage choices and deductible options to make it easier for Californians to select a policy that best meets their needs and budget—so everyone can insure their valuable assets against earthquake damage.
Houses built before modern building codes are more susceptible to earthquake damage. CEA offers information about strengthening older houses to reduce their vulnerability to shake damage and help prevent them from toppling off their foundations. A code-compliant brace-and-bolt retrofit to strengthen an older house could also mean a discount on CEA earthquake insurance. And CEA now has a free online tool, QuakeGrade™, to help home inspection specialists evaluate a house’s vulnerability to earthquakes and make recommendations to the homeowner.
“Many of us realize that earthquakes can strike at any time where we work, live or travel,” said Pomeroy. “But some may not realize that if we take a little time to plan ahead, we’ll be better able to survive and recover when disaster strikes.”
To learn more about how to reduce your risk of earthquake loss through residential insurance and mitigation, or to learn more steps to earthquake safety, visit EarthquakeAuthority.com.