Last week (March 4-6) the National Earthquake Conference — attended by hundreds of experts, including academics, engineers, government leaders, insurance professionals, and scientists – took place in San Diego.
The day after the conference, as if to make a point, a 5.5. magnitude earthquake that struck Baja California, Mexico, shook San Diego.
While no damage was reported, a study released at the conference by the San Diego chapter of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute showed that a magnitude 6.9 earthquake on San Diego’s Rose Canyon Fault could damage 100,000 residences, cause widespread road and bridge failures, and make parts of Mission Bay sink about a foot. Such a quake would inflict an estimated $38 billion in building and infrastructure damage, displacing 36,000 households and wreaking havoc on San Diego’s $245 billion economy.
Don’t be scared, be prepared
Conference goals were to improve life safety when earthquakes occur, to help communities learn how to recover faster, and to help prevent or minimize physical earthquake damage through stronger building practices, including research-informed, model building codes and standards.
Janet Ruiz, Triple-I’s Director of Strategic Communications, who was one of the attendees, said one of the great points of the conference was: “Don’t be scared, be prepared.”
Earthquake risk is insurable
One of the ways to be prepared for any disaster is to make sure you have adequate insurance. But as few as 13 percent of California homeowners have earthquake insurance.
Glenn Pomeroy of the California Earthquake Authority said earthquake risk is insurable. The average annual cost of earthquake insurance for a typical home in San Diego is between $100 and $444. Renters can secure financial protection from CEA for as little as $35 per month.