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Contact:

Kenton Brine, President
Sandi Henke, Communications Director
NW Insurance Council
Phone: (206) 624-3330
Fax: (206) 624-1975
kenton.brine@nwinsurance.org
sandi.henke@nwinsurance.org
Follow at Twitter/nwinsuranceinfo

"Great Shakeout" is a reminder to be prepared and to consider earthquake and flood insurance

SEATTLE – Are you and your family ready for “the big one?” Everyone in the Pacific Northwest is encouraged to drop, cover and hold for a worldwide earthquake drill on October 15 at 10:15 a.m. The 2015 Great Shakeout Earthquake Drill provides an opportunity to practice earthquake safety at home, work and school.

The NW Insurance Council wants to remind Washington, Oregon and Idaho residents to consider taking steps now – before disaster strikes - to help protect your home, family and business. Knowing what to do in an earthquake is critical. It’s also important to know that earthquake damage is not covered with most standard homeowners and business insurance policies. Earthquake insurance is available through a separate insurance policy.

"Seismologists warn that Western Washington and Oregon - which are veined with unstable seismic fault lines – are past due for a major seismic event that could spell disaster for homeowners and businesses," said Kenton Brine, NW Insurance Council president. "Being prepared for a disaster now could save your life and the lives of your family members, and having earthquake insurance may help your family or business recover if an earthquake strikes."

The Northwest region has the second highest risk of earthquake in the United States.  Seismologists say a massive 8 or 9 magnitude earthquake could occur in the Pacific Northwest at any time along the Cascadia Subduction Zone that stretches south from Vancouver Island to Northern California.

NW Insurance Council encourages homeowners and business owners to consider both Earthquake and Flood Insurance. Earthquake and tsunami damage are not covered under most standard Homeowners, Renters and Business Owners insurance policies.

Earthquake Insurance is available either as a separate policy, as an endorsement to your Homeowners or Renters Insurance policy or through a specialty carrier such as GeoVera.

Flood Insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and may be available from insurance companies in your area. Check with your agent or insurance company for more details on how you can protect yourself against the devastating effects of an earthquake, landslide or tsunami.

NW Insurance Council offers the following earthquake and disaster preparedness tips:

  • Consider Earthquake Insurance for your home and business.  Check with your insurance company, agent or specialty carrier such as GeoVera to make sure you have the coverage you need.
  • Damage to vehicles caused by earthquake or tsunami is covered if owners add optional Comprehensive Coverage to their auto policies.
  • Damage to personal contents inside a vehicle is covered under standard Homeowners or Renters insurance
  • When an earthquake strikes, remain indoors and use the internationally recognized protocol: “Drop to the ground, Cover by getting under a sturdy desk or table and Hold on until the shaking stops.” 
  • Disaster experts say do not run to another room to get under a desk or table if one isn’t near you.  Instead drop to the ground in an inside corner of the building and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms. 
  • If you live along the coast, an earthquake in your area is a natural tsunami warning. Do not stay in low-lying coastal areas after a local earthquake. Do not return to such areas until local authorities tell you that the danger of a tsunami has passed.
  • Know where and how to shut off electricity, gas and water at main switches and valves following an earthquake. Check with your local utilities office for instructions.
  • Be sure to have a flashlight and a battery-powered radio on hand in case power is cut off.
  • Create a family evacuation plan and develop a family emergency survival kit that includes a three-day supply of drinking water and food you don't have to refrigerate or cook.  The kit should also contain first aid supplies, a weather radio, batteries, clothing, blankets, medicine, copies of your insurance policies and some basic tools.
  • Maintain a home inventory of all of your possessions, including descriptions and serial numbers and keep this list (or video) in a safe location away from your home, such as in a safety deposit box.  Free, downloadable Home Inventory Software is available from the Insurance Information Institute.

For more information about how to protect yourself and your property from an earthquake, tsunami or other disasters, visit GetReadyNW.org, NW Insurance Council or call NW Insurance Council at (800) 664-4942.

NW Insurance Council is a nonprofit organization funded by member insurance companies, to provide information about insurance to consumers and policymakers in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
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