Mansell, Engel & Cole

Don't be shaken if an earthquake hits: Know what to do beforehand

Nowadays, it's growing more and more common to hear stories of natural disasters occurring in Oklahoma or elsewhere in the nation. You may have already experienced crazy weather where it's warm at one part of the day then drops to near-freezing temperatures just hours later. You may be one of many who have taken to carrying several types of clothing in your car to accommodate any unexpected changes you might encounter during your travels.

In addition to strange weather patterns, there also seems to be an increased risk for hurricanes and earthquakes in some areas. The key to survival in such circumstances often lies in how much you know ahead of time regarding how to stay safe and how to recover your losses if you suffer property damage or economic loss in a storm.

Disaster kits and other prep aids

No matter how prepared you think you are, when a sudden storm blows in, funnel cloud forms or the earth begins to quake underneath your feet, there may be little to nothing you can do to prevent damage. The following tips may be useful, however, in helping you plan and stay safe:

  • Create a disaster plan: Especially if you share a home with other family members, it's a good idea to gather everyone together and formulate a set plan of action in case a natural disaster strikes.
  • Keep one or more emergency kits on hand: As part of your disaster plan, you may want to purchase or build emergency kits to which everyone has quick access in a time of need. Flashlights, water, non-perishable food items and blankets are common items many people include in their disaster kits.
  • Posters help remind people what to do: Although you may think you'd remember exactly what you need to do if an earthquake hits, when an actual emergency arises, you may not be able to think clearly. By hanging posters in conspicuous locations around your home with easy-to-read symbols and emergency instructions, you may help keep yourself and others safe.

If you're cooking supper, gardening or watching a movie with your family and the pictures on your walls begin to shake or you feel the earth move under your feet, you'll want to take cover in the safest place possible. The aftermath of an Oklahoma tornado or earthquake can be quite devastating. It takes many people years to recover from such trauma.

The aftermath

People often file insurance claims following earthquakes or other natural disaster situations. Generally speaking, most earthquake claims should be covered regardless of what may have initially caused the earthquake. The process of filing a claim is often complex and any number of obstacles may arise to cause delays or prevent you from obtaining needed financial assistance.

Who can help?

Others in Oklahoma have been able to iron the wrinkles of complicated earthquake insurance claims by turning to experienced insurance law attorneys for support.

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