Recovering from an Earthquake
Protecting Yourself and Your Family
- First, check to be sure that no one in the family is injured. Start first aid immediately if injuries are found.
- Be prepared for aftershocks which are normal following an earthquake.
- Stay away from beach areas because of the danger of tsunamis (large seismic sea waves).
Protecting Your Property
- Check utility lines and appliances for damage. If you smell gas, open the windows and turn off the main gas valve. Do not turn on electric lights or appliances until the gas has dissipated. They can cause sparks that might ignite the gas. If electric wires are shorting out, turn off the power.
- Clean up flammable liquids inside buildings.
- Check to see that sewage lines are intact and working before flushing toilets.
- Check chimneys for cracks or other damage before using them.
- Notify your insurance agent or company representative as soon as possible. If you have vacated the premises, make sure your representative knows where to contact you.
- Take pictures of damaged property and keep notes. Use pictures and inventory lists to help your insurance agent and adjuster assess the damages.
- Don't be rushed into signing repair contracts. Deal with reputable contractors. If you're unsure about a contractor's credentials, contact your claims adjuster, Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce for referrals. Make sure the contractor you hire is experienced in repair work - not just new construction. Be sure of payment terms and consult your agent or adjuster before you sign any contracts.