Though Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma may have subsided, the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season will not officially end until November, putting many people at risk of a future storm. However, hurricane season is not the only time of year that people should have their guard up against natural disasters; the National Earthquake Information Center records between 12,000 and 14,000 earthquakes each year, and many of these have the potential to cause a large loss of life and billions of dollars in damage. While hurricanes and earthquakes may not be the same type of natural occurrence, both can be devastating if not prepared for (and sometimes even in spite of preparation). Looking at the recent hurricanes, there are several things that you can take away and use to protect yourself from future hurricanes and earthquakes. Protect yourself with Earthquake Insurance coverage and take a look at these recommendations for preparing yourself and your dwelling.
Reinforce your establishment.
After Hurricane Andrew struck in 1992, Florida updated its legislation on building codes to better prepare people for future storms (though already-built buildings did not need to upgrade their structures). Many homes, particularly mobile homes and trailers, were not up to the updated standards, with an estimated 50-75 percent of southern Florida homes being deemed unfit by the newer standards.
Earthquakes can also devastate buildings that are not built up to current codes and designed to withstand damage. If your building has already been built and you are looking to ensure that it will withstand a disaster, consider the following:
- A strong foundation is crucial to protect against an earthquake. If your home is built on a concrete foundation, it is recommended that you install steel plates and washers in the foundation.
- The floor and walls should also be fastened together and bolted down in order to keep them in place during the earthquake.
Prepare for a disaster.
During the recent hurricanes, many people struggled with the decision between evacuating the area or hunkering down. Those who chose to remain in the path of the hurricane found themselves in danger of flooding, wind damage, and damage from falling debris, among other dangers. Many experts recommend that, in the event of an impending hurricane, large trees should be trimmed or removed if they are near the home and can cause damage. Entryways into the home should be reinforced and blocked off, as well.
However, with earthquakes, we often do not have the luxury of knowing that the earthquake will strike. While seismologists can calculate the rough probability of future earthquakes, no scientist is capable of predicting a large-scale earthquake, and this is unlikely to change any time soon. Because of this, evacuation is not much of an option for those living in earthquake-prone areas. If your home or workplace is in an area that is in danger of being struck by an earthquake, take the following steps to prepare yourself:
- Understand where to go in the event of an earthquake. While you won’t be able to leave the quake, you can minimize the risk of injury or death by going to the right spot. If you’re indoors, it is best to secure yourself beneath a desk or table. Exterior walls, windows, and appliances can be dangerous. If you are outdoors, avoid standing near anything that could fall.
- Secure all loose or heavy objects in the building.
- Create a plan for your workplace and for your home that will detail where to go, what to do, and how to contact one another after an earthquake.
- Have supplies (such as water, flashlights, and first aid gear) on hand and be prepared for the possibility of having to go without water, electricity, and gas for several days.
- Check for hazards after the quake, particularly gas, fire, and electrical hazards.
- Be prepared for aftershocks.
About Scott Litman Insurance Agency
At Scott Litman Insurance Agency, we are dedicated to protecting HOAs like yours. We have a unique understanding of the industry and the common risk exposures that you face in your daily operations. In fact, we find that 90% of the policies we review are missing coverages that violate the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&R), exposing the board, HOA and management to lawsuits – which is why our comprehensive policies are tailored to meet your specific needs at competitive prices. For more information about our products, contact our experts today at (818) 879-5980 ext. 201, or fill out our online form.