Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Are you ready for a megaquake?

Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) ran a series of stories earlier this month about how prepared Northwesterners are for a massive earthquake (or not, in many cases). Some experts say a magnitude 9.0 quake off our coast could hit at anytime. OPB profiled a series of families who tried living off their earthquake supplies for a weekend to as a trial run. The Red Cross recommends storing 14 gallons of water and 42 meals per person in the event of a megaquake. That’s a lot of supplies. 
Photo courtesy of FEMA. A sports car lies crushed by earthquake debris in a Seattle parking lot in Seattle on March 4, 2001.

In addition to being prepared for the disaster itself, homeowners should be prepared for the aftermath. Step one is talking to your insurance agent about what your policies will cover. Earthquakes are not automatically covered by a standard homeowner’s policy, most insurers require an endorsement or a separate policy. And you likely won’t be able to buy it after the fact, most insurers don’t sell it for a period of time after an earthquake hits. Additionally, it typically doesn’t cover tidal waves or tsunamis that are a direct result of an earthquake, but be sure to read your policy and talk to your insurance agent.

While you are preparing for an earthquake—or wildfire or any other natural disaster—make sure you include insurance in your planning.
Questions? You can contact our consumer advocates online or at 1-800-562-6900.