A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck near the town of Ridgecrest, in Kern County. It was the strongest earthquake in the region since the 1999 Hector Mine earthquake, and shaking from the main shock and aftershocks was felt throughout Southern California. Damage to local residents is still being evaluated, and our hearts go out to those affected by this earthquake.
This event is an important reminder that all of California is earthquake country. Earthquakes can happen at any time—a magnitude 5.6 earthquake occurred on our northern coast just a couple of weeks ago—and we need to be prepared. It’s important to know what to do to stay safe when the ground starts shaking—drop, cover and hold on!—and to take other steps to prepare to survive and recover from damaging earthquakes, such as to retrofit homes built prior to 1980 and the advent of modern building codes, which may be more vulnerable to earthquake damage, and consider earthquake insurance to protect ourselves financially.
If this earthquake had occurred under a densely populated area, it is likely that California would be looking at many more injuries and at damages in the billions of dollars.
The California Earthquake Authority (CEA) has approximately 2,000 policyholders in the affected area who likely experienced strong shaking. Any damage to their homes would be considered well within CEA’s claim-paying capacity for covered claims. (CEA has more than $17 billion in claim-paying capacity—enough to cover claims from a reoccurrence of the 1906 San Francisco, 1989 Loma Prieta or 1994 Northridge earthquake.)
Information on how to file a CEA policy claim is on CEA’s website. If you have a CEA policy and an earthquake has damaged your house or personal belongings, contact your residential insurance company as soon as possible to start your claim. To learn more about how to prepare to survive and recover from a damaging earthquake, visit EarthquakeAuthority.com.
The California Earthquake Authority (CEA) is a not-for-profit, privately funded, publicly managed organization that provides residential earthquake insurance and encourages Californians to reduce their risk of earthquake loss. Learn more at EarthquakeAuthority.com.
This article was released by the California Earthquake Authority.