Just after the Vols kicked off to Missouri last Saturday, many Knoxville residents felt something like never felt before. At 12:08 p.m., a 4.3 magnitude earthquake whose epicenter was near Whitesburg, Kentucky sent tremors as far south as Alabama. More than an hour later, a 2.5 magnitude aftershock struck the region. Even though our agency was closed, agents were emailing each other back and forth preparing a plan to respond to a potential influx of earthquake claims. Fortunately, we haven’t filed a single earthquake claim to date. This was, however, a wake up call to all of us. We now know we’re not immune to earthquakes in our region.
REMINDER: EARTHQUAKE COVERAGE IS USUALLY EXCLUDED FROM BOTH A RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL PROPERTY POLICY; HOWEVER, IT CAN ALWAYS BE ADDED BY ENDORSEMENT.
If you’re just not sure or can’t remember whether you have this coverage, DO NOT HESITATE to give us a call. In just a few seconds, we can pull up your policy to let you know. If not, we’d be happy to inform you of the additional cost to get coverage.
Here are 10 things to keep in mind both during and after an earthquake:
1. If you’re outside, stay away from trees, poles, and buildings. Try to get in an open area if you can.
2. Wear shoes to protect your feet from glass and fallen debris.
3. If you’re indoors, get beneath a desk, doorway, or stairs until the shaking stops.
4. Do not use elevators.
5. If you’re in a car, do not pull under an overpass or into a building.
6. Keep all your receipts. Whether you’re making temporary repairs or you need to stay in a hotel, you’re claims adjuster will ask for these.
7. Use the telephone for emergencies only.
8. Check gas, water, and electrical lines for damage. If you find damage, contact the respective utility company and shut off the source if possible.
9. Beware of the looming aftershocks as they can cause damaged structures to become even more hazardous.
10. Prepare extra supplies of food and water if you need to evacuate with your pets.
Additional safety tips for earthquake and other natural disasters can be found at the Erie Insurance website.