Earthquake Insurance

House and Car Destroyed by TsunamiIf you live in an area that is prone to earthquakes than earthquake insurance is not such a bad idea. Like any insurance it only becomes important when you do not have it. Earthquake insurance can help you recoup any losses that you experience during an earthquake.

Most homeowners insurance does not cover property damage from an earthquake. You have to have a special policy or rider that will add the coverage to your policy. There are only a handful of insurance carriers that offer earthquake insurance.

If you live in an area where earthquakes happen frequently than having this type of insurance is a very good investment. Choosing a plan that meets all your needs will require that you do your homework and take the time to shop around and compare plans.


The plan deductibles vary from plan to plan so it is important to shop around and do some comparisons. Typically with this type of insurance the deductibles can be rather high so they are not necessarily a good idea unless there is a total loss of property.

Shopping around and comparing your options can help you find a plan that is affordable and that has reasonable deductibles.


If you are interested in acquiring earthquake insurance the time to do it is BEFORE there is an earthquake. Often insurance carriers will stop offering this type insurance following an earthquake for a  while. This is done because many times following an earthquake there are substantial aftershocks that occur.

You want to purchase a plan from a reliable carrier that has a strong reputation for providing good options and following through with claims quickly and accurately. A trustworthy carrier can provide you with a plan that is affordable and that offers a lower deductible.

 Is It Worth It?

Earthquake insurance is an added expense above and beyond your regular homeowners insurance and you may be wondering if it is worth the added expense. Like every other kind of insurance if you don’t need it you don’t miss it but if you live in an area where an earthquake is a potential threat than yes it is worth it!

It is far better to be over insured than it is to be under insured in every case. Shop and compare to find a plan that is affordable and that will work for your situation. Protect your investment with earthquake insurance.

More information:

Husforsikring – Danish site about the insurance of houses in Denmark

Earthquake insurance in Japan

Government of New Zealand provides earthquake insurance

Emergency Food Supplies


As part if your preparations for an earthquake you should prepare an emergency food supply that will last each individual several days or as much as a week. Use foods that your family likes. Canned foods, dry mixes, dehydrated fruit, etc. that are normally used will do just fine. Try for a balance meal approach. Don’t forget a manual can opener in the event of a power outage. Foods stored in dark, cool areas lasts longer. Rotate food items from storage at least once or twice a year to avoid spoilage and keep freshness. It may be helpful to write the date on the items the day they were stored.


Packing food for Burning ManPerishable foods such as milk, meats, etc. that are normally stored under refrigeration will spoil quickly without it. If still cold, these foods should be used first. Foods in freezers can last several days without power if the door is not opened frequently.


If perishable foods lose refrigeration and become warm, DO NOT USE. Bacteria grows rapidly without refrigeration, and may cause food poisoning.

If canned foods have been damaged and are bulging or leaking, DO NOT USE.

DO NOT USE food from open containers where broken glass is present, have or where household chemicals have spilled.

Unsealed containers and those that have been punctured by rodents or have rodent droppings should NOT be used.

There are several reputable suppliers of prepared emergency food supplies for individuals, families and business. Check your Yellow Pages for a distributor nearest you.


Modified from: San Mateo County Department of Health Services

photo by: DoNotLick

The Earthquake in Haiti in 2010

The Earthquake in Haiti in 2010

On Tuesday, January 12, 2010 a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti with catastrophic consequences. The epicenter of the earthquake hit near the town of Léogâne, roughly 16 miles from the capital of Port-au-Prince. The earthquake hit at approximately 4:55pm local time and affected major cities surrounding the region.

Aftershocks and Damagehaiti earthquake 2010

By the time the sun rose on January 24th, there had been at least 52 aftershocks measuring 4.5 or higher on the Richter Scale. The earthquake and resulting aftershocks affected approximately 3 million people, with the death toll estimated at anywhere from 100,000 to 159,000 people. The Haitian government estimated there were 250,000 homes and 30,000 commercial buildings and businesses that had collapsed or had been extremely damaged.

Port-au-Prince suffered extensive damage, as well as Jacmel and other cities in the region. Several landmarks such as the Presidential Palace, Port-au-Prince Cathedral, and the National Assembly were heavily damaged or destroyed, among others.

What Caused the Earthquake?

Haiti’s 7.0 earthquake occurred inland on the blind thrust faults that are associated with the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden Fault system. It is believed that the earthquake had nothing to do with any significant movement or lateral slip of the Enquillo fault; they found no evidence of a surface rupture. The resulting earthquake was felt in several surrounding countries including Cuba, Venezuela, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. The damage was more destructive than other earthquakes of similar strength due to the shallow depth of the quake itself.

The earthquake happened due to pressure or stress build up along the plates that converge over Haiti; the Caribbean tectonic plate and the North American Plate – which shifts approximately 20mm or 0.79 inches per year. The region has two strike slip fault areas in Haiti, the Septemtrional-Oriente fault and the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault, which had not seen much movement in 250 years. The earthquake is believed to have only slightly relieved some of the built up stress from the constant movements of the plates.


Unlike the earthquake in the Indian Ocean which resulted in a massive tsunami that swept across the ocean, the Haiti earthquake resulted in a smaller wave. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did issue a warning shortly after the earthquake, but cancelled it soon after. It took two weeks after the earthquake to discover that a localized wave did in fact hit a small beach fishing town of Petit Paradis in which three people were swept out to sea. It is believed that this wave was caused by an underwater slide.                      

photo by: treesftf

Earthquake Survival Kit in a Can

Survival in a Can

Here is a simple way to begin your home preparedness plan.
Fill a plastic container with enough supplies to last you or your family for 72 hours.

Supplies for your grab-and-go bag

Choose a Container

Plastic containers come in all shapes and sizes, they’re water and rodent proof, and are fairly durable. Choose the size that suits you needs. Be sure container comes with a securing lid.

Top of Container:

2 quarts of water per person per day in durable containers, flashlight, portable
radio, first aid kit, first aid book, blankets or sleeping bags for each person, work gloves, dry chemical fire extinguisher, clock or watch, and a crescent wrench for turning off the gas main.

Middle of Container:

Include food items like: juices, peanut butter, crackers, nuts, dried fruit or raisins, a change of clothing (one per person) including foul weather gear. For sanitary supplies, include diapers, bleach, paper towels, and toilet paper. Store miscellaneous supplies such as candles, matches or lighter, hand operated can opener, batteries (wrap- ped in plastic), pencils, marking pens, paper for leaving notes. You may also want to include a good book, a couple of magazines, newspaper, crossword puzzles, and some simple toys.

Bottom of Container:

Canned foods that are eatable warm or cold, and pet food; cooking utensils, including Sterno, stove, fuel, cooking pot, paper plates, aluminum foil and garbage bags; tools such as screw- drivers, pliers, hammer, rope, wire, duct tape etc.

Label the container EMERGENCY SUPPLIES, and place the it in a safe and easily accessible place.

Modified from: The American Red Cross

Earthquake insurance

 Earthquake Insurance

If I don’t live along the fault line in California, Oregon and Washington, why would I need to consider earthquake insurance? That is a very good question so let’s share some facts about earthquakes. Although the west coast is an active earthquake area in the U.S., other hotspots are known for their activity. Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming, also in the west, but moving east there are known hotspots in Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina and much of Hawaii and Alaska.


4 Survival Tips You Should Use Alongside Your Earthquake Emergency Kit

If you live in an earthquake prone area and you don’t have an emergency plan, you risk losing ”You”, your family and your possession in the event of a serous hit. In the U.S for example, California is one state most prone to earthquakes. But there are other areas prone to earthquakes as well. Geologists and seismologists predict a 97% chance of a major hit in the new Madrid seismic zone of central America namely Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri and Kentucky between now and 2035. Unfortunately, studies show that 40 percent of individuals living in earthquake prone areas don’t have a family emergency plan.

But during a major earthquake, you’ll hear a rumbling or roaring sound that gradually grows louder. But you may also feel a rolling sensation that starts out in a gentle manner and within 2 or 3 seconds, grows violent. Sometimes you may even be jarred by a violent object. Seconds later, it may be shaking to the point that you lose balance and you’re not able to move from one place to the other.

Don’t think that you’ll survive by chance or luck. The real key to survival is through planning, preparing or practicing what you and your loved ones will do in the event that it happens. One way of preparing adequately for such an occurrence is by having an earthquake emergency kit handy.

If you’ve never experienced one, you might never know what it means to encounter one. However, for those who know what it is, the following points might be helpful to add to whatever you already have.

1 Purchase an all-in-one earthquake emergency kit

Not only will it save you time, but it’s also convenient. Most of these kits have a capacity to accommodate 2 people, depending on how the package has been designed. They have enough food supplies (food bars), emergency blankets, water, first aid kit etc. A good kit should take you for at least 3 days.

2 Find extra water and food

An earthquake emergency kit should act as your starting point. Depending on your family’s needs, you may want to tag along extra supplies of essentials. For example, many of these kits don’t have enough water, and an adult needs 1 gallon of water on a daily basis. But this is just for an average person–older people, nursing mothers or those living in hot climates may require more drinking water. Because your emergency plan should cover at least 3 days of potential outage, it would be a good idea to load your reserves with extra water. Bottled water is often labeled with the expiry date on the outside of the package, but this is often for stock keeping purposes. As long as the bottle stays sealed, the water has an indefinite shelf life. In fact FDA says that this water may taste a little bit off, but it’s safe to consume.

3 Flashlights

Flashlights get lost very easily, especially smaller ones. So buy several of these and everyone in the house should have one on their bedsides. LED flashlights are portable and inexpensive, so invest in several of these.

4 Store multiple emergency kits in different places

The last thing you’d want to do when an earthquake strikes is waste time looking for your emergency kit. Collect all the things you may need and keep in a secluded place, in a backpack. But sometimes it might strike when you are not home, or worse still, the kit may be unreachable, so it’s important that you keep some in the car and at work.

Being prepared means having basic things handy. It could mean the difference between someone who dies of thirst and someone who survives because they had an extra bottle of water to quench their thirst.


Magnitude   Mw 6.4
Date time   2014-03-21 13:41:08.0 UTC
Location   7.69 N ; 94.20 E
Depth   10 km

Source: European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre

Read more:

Mw 6.0 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS Earthquake

Magnitude   Mw 6.0
Date time   2014-03-27 03:49:47.0 UTC
Location   12.04 S ; 166.57 E
Depth   125 km

Source: European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre

Read more:


Magnitude   Mw 6.3
Date time   2014-03-26 03:29:35.0 UTC
Location   26.17 S ; 179.42 E
Depth   479 km

Source: European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre

Read more:


Magnitude   Mw 6.2
Date time   2014-03-22 12:59:58.0 UTC
Location   19.81 S ; 70.92 W
Depth   12 km

Source: European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre

Read more:


Magnitude   Mw 6.3
Date time   2014-03-23 18:20:04.0 UTC
Location   19.90 S ; 70.90 W
Depth   30 km

Source: European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre

Read more:


Magnitude   Mw 6.3
Date time   2014-03-22 12:59:57.0 UTC
Location   19.73 S ; 70.92 W
Depth   5 km

Source: European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre

Read more:


Magnitude   Mw 6.3
Date time   2014-03-21 13:41:08.0 UTC
Location   7.71 N ; 94.22 E
Depth   10 km

Source: European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre

Read more:


Magnitude   Mw 6.0
Date time   2014-03-18 21:26:47.0 UTC
Location   19.98 S ; 70.74 W
Depth   10 km

Source: European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre

Read more:

Earthquake Kit Checklist

If you live in an earthquake prone area, you have probably experienced the occasional tremor. If you haven’t been through a major earthquake yet, you may take them for granted. What if a big earthquake strikes though? You need to be prepared. Power and water services could be interrupted for days or weeks, depending on the severity of the event, which means you will need to be prepared with some basic survival needs. Below is an earthquake kit checklist to help you prepare for potential disaster.



After an earthquake it may be difficult or impossible to find clean, safe drinking water. Because the human body can survive longer with food, but only a few days without water, it is the most important part of your survival kit.

· At a minimum, you need at least three days of water for each person in your family.

· Be sure to have at least a gallon of water per person per day.

· Women who are pregnant, or nursing, as well as children, may require more water per day.

· Be sure you have enough extra water in case of a medical emergency.

· If you live in a hot climate, you may want to increase the water by double.

· Unopened commercially bottled water is recommended by the government

· You can also buy water purification tablets to ensure your drinking water is safe.

· If bottling your own water, either buy food grade water storage containers or use 2 liter soda bottles.

· Never use plastic jugs that have had juice or milk in them. The sugars and proteins can’t be adequately removed to prevent bacterial growth.

· Thoroughly wash container with dish soap and rinse completely before filling your containers.

· If using your own containers, replace your water supply every 6 months.



As with water, you should have a three day supply of food per person. Some powdered drink mixes have calories and protein, such as whey protein powder. They take up little space making them ideal for disaster kits. You also need to be sure you have a variety of non-perishable foods that don’t need to stay cold. Store food that doesn’t need to be heated; even if you have a camping stove, you would need to expend water to wash it so it’s best to keep foods that don’t need cooking.

· Honey never expires, and has natural sugars, vitamins, and minerals such as B6, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acids, calcium, iron, niacin and more.

· Canned and sealed jar foods that are high in protein and vitamins such as beans, vegetables, and peanut butter.

· Whole grain cereals are light weight, don’t take up a lot of room, and are high in necessary fiber.

· If you have an infant, be sure to have formula in the kit.

· Be sure you have a can opener and eating utensils.

· Do not bring salty snacks or crackers – they will dehydrate the body and put a strain on your water supply.



There are several other items that round out the earthquake kit checklist that are essential for your survival after a disaster. Be sure you have all prescription medications your family takes, as well as a spare hearing aid or pair of glasses for anyone that wears them (including for contact lens wearers – you may not be able to adequately clean the lenses). Below are some other items you should keep in your kit.


· Diapers for infants

· Pet food and extra water

· Water proof container with important documents and records, list of allergies, photos of everyone in your family in case you get separated

· High quality first aid kit with enough supplies for everyone in your family, plus at least 1 person. (So for a family of three, you need a 4 person kit.)

· Feminine supplies and basic hygiene products

· Sleeping bag for each person (or a warming blanket)

· Household chlorine bleach with an eyedropper can be used at a ratio of 9 parts water to 1 part bleach for disinfectant.

· Waterproof matches

· Battery operated radio

· Flashlight

· Extra batteries

· Dust Masks for each person – if using disposable ones be sure you have several per person

· Clean socks, warm clothes, sturdy shoes for each person

Having all of the above items in your earthquake disaster kit will ensure your family makes it through at least 3 days without power or running, clean water. Sometimes power can take longer than three days to restore though, so you might consider adjusting the amounts of items up to at least a week, and be sure you have water purification tablets on hand in case it runs longer than a week.