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CA Department of Insurance

Californians urged to prepare before the next big one hits

News: 2014 Press Release

For Release: October 16, 2014
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
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Californians urged to prepare before the next big one hits
Understanding your risks and mitigation needs offers the best protection

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Today, more than 10 million Californians will participate in the largest disaster preparedness event ever when they drop, cover and hold on. Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is reminding Californians to prepare before the next earthquake hits with a few simple steps that can save your life and help you recover from disaster. 

"You have the opportunity to prepare for the next disaster today, and make recovering easier," said Commissioner Jones. "In observance of the Great ShakeOut I urge all Californians to make a preparedness plan and practice it. Before the next big one hits, make sure you take a few simple steps to mitigate your risk of injury and loss." 

Californians know it's not if but when the next earthquake will hit. Even a small or moderate temblor can cause significant damage. The magnitude 6.0 quake that struck Napa on August 24 is a good reminder that residents need to take steps to protect themselves, their loved ones and their belongings by making sure they have the coverage they need and they take simple, inexpensive mitigation steps.

Standard homeowners insurance does not provide coverage for earthquake damage. Earthquake insurance must be purchased separately and is typically designed as a catastrophic policy to cover tens of thousands of dollars in structural damage. The majority of quakes are moderate and cause damage and injury when furniture and belongings tumble and break. For about $100, the average person can protect themselves and their family by using Velcro appliance and furniture straps, cabinet latches and quake putty to secure those items that fall and break during a quake.

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Media Notes:

  • Adding an earthquake strap to a flat screen TV helps prevent injuries from the appliance falling on small children and has the added benefit serving as a theft deterrent.
  • A child safety latch on glassware cabinets can hold a door shut and prevent broken glass from covering a kitchen floor, and earthquake putty will hold fragile items and lamps in place during a temblor.
  • California has experienced more than 7,000 earthquakes in 2014 measuring 1.5 or greater.
  • Southern California Earthquake Center.

The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $310 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $469 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance website at Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.4357. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.

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