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CA Department of Insurance

Californians urged to prepare for disaster by taking simple mitigation steps

News: 2013 Press Release

For Release: October 16, 2013
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
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Californians urged to prepare for disaster by taking simple mitigation steps
The Great California ShakeOut will be the largest preparedness event in history

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - With 38 million people living and working in California and geologists noting we are overdue for a major earthquake; Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is reminding Californians that they can save their life and the life of someone they know by properly preparing for an earthquake.

"Now is the time to prepare for disaster, while you have a chance to save a life," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "The majority of injuries caused by earthquakes can be prevented with just a few simple preparedness steps. In observation of the Great Shakeout, I urge all Californians to make a preparedness plan and practice it. It may just save your life."

While most of us fear the "big one" we must remember even small earthquakes can cause significant damage and injury from falling objects and furniture. The recent 3.2 earthquake that jolted Berkley residents on Tuesday is only one of the many earthquakes that occur in California daily. Residents should take steps to protect themselves, their loved ones and their belonging with simple, inexpensive mitigation products.

Standard homeowners insurance does not cover earthquake damage and earthquake insurance may not help with a smaller loss totaling hundreds or thousands of dollars. For about $100 you can secure fragile items, electronics and large furniture or appliances using straps, angle brackets or earthquake putty available at home improvement or hardware stores. Taking a few minutes today to secure items around your home can help protect your loved ones as well as belongings during future earthquakes.

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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 event lamps in place during a temblor.
  • California has experienced 68 earthquakes in 2013 measuring between 3.5 and 5.7 on the Richter scale.
  • 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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