Regardless of the best measures taken to prepare for an earthquake, they can still happen without warning or provocation. Even the smallest ones can cause serious damage to your home and property.
Recovering from an earthquake can be harrowing but there are steps you can take to make it easier on you and your family. Having a plan of action before a seismic event will be the best protection for all you love and care about.
Initial Actions To Take
The moment you know the end of the tremor, ensure you and your family are safe enough to be mobile. First, check to make sure no one experienced an injury during the earthquake. If so, medical attention will be imperative.
If everyone is okay, you must next prepare for any aftershocks depending on how large it was. This means getting yourself and your family to a safer and more stable location if necessary. For those near a coastline and it was a rather intense seismic event, get at least 20 miles away for a few hours. Doing so will keep you safe from any potential tsunamis.
Check For Damages
When you know the whole thing is finally over, you have to check your home for structural damage. This means looking at the earthquake brace bolts you have in place and inspecting for cracks in the foundation building. This includes looking at your chimney and fireplace for any cracks or other visible damage.
One of the most crucial aspects of recovering from an earthquake is examining all utility lines, inspecting sewer lines, and looking for noticeable changes in the earth around your home. Any misstep can result in fires, explosions, and other undesirable aftereffects.
Walk around your kitchen, basement, garage, and storage closet for any spilled flammables or other harmful chemicals. Clean these up as soon as possible to prevent any further possible damage.
Securing Your Finances
Then there’s the matter of your financial interests and ensuring you secure those long before an earthquake even hits. This means having a homeowner’s insurance policy with adequate earthquake coverage. While a typical policy will cover things like burst pipes and fire damage post-quake, they don’t cover everything.
After an earthquake hits your home and there is damage, you must contact your insurance agent and file a claim within 24 hours of the event. Take pictures of the damage and keep a home inventory diary where you log detailed notes about repairs, replacements, etc.
Hiring A Repair Contractor
Your final act in recovering from an earthquake will be to hire a repair contractor. Some things can happen which will require urgent repair but don’t allow yourself to get rushed into a contract you are uncertain of.
They must have experience and are trustworthy. This is why Seismic Safety can help with any seismic retrofit or foundation repair in Los Angeles. We don’t rush, push or force our estimates on you while providing quality services.