As Oklahomans breaks away winter ice, they also are being advised to take steps following a magnitude 4.7 quake early Monday morning.
Home and property owners are being encouraged to prepare for earthquakes just as they would other disasters that occur in the state.
“Proper preparation can help ease the devastating impact of an earthquake,” said AAA Oklahoma spokesman Chuck Mai. “As Monday’s quake and earlier ones have taught us, our lives can be changed in an instant. Some simple, advanced planning can be a big help in the recovery process.”
Following a quake, home and property owners are encouraged to check for hazards around homes.
“If you see damage that looks structurally unsound, do not attempt to fix it. Document the damage with photos and notes,” Mai said. “Contact a professional to get an estimate on repairs.
“Also, know how to turn off your home’s gas, water and electricity to prevent further damage.”
Mai also suggested checking insurance plans to see if they cover earthquake damage.
“Knowing what coverage you have can help speed up your recovery after a big quake. Most homeowners, condo and renters policies do not cover damage resulting from an earthquake,” he said. “In many cases, you can either add inexpensive earthquake coverage to your existing policy or buy a separate low-cost earthquake policy, depending on your carrier.”
Those with earthquake insurance should check their policies to determine the scope of coverage and if the coverage is subject to any conditions, including a separate, higher deductible.
Mai also suggests having a key contact your entire family knows in case of a disaster.
“Make sure this key person to contact is known to the whole family, especially if you become separated,” he said. “In the event phone lines are damaged or overloaded after an earthquake, specifying one point of contact for everyone saves time and doesn’t put constraints on the emergency communications system.”
Mia also suggests designating a meeting place for families to reunite in case of a disaster.