Tampa, Fla. (PRWEB) October 17, 2012
As more than 16 million people in 15 states, U.S. territories and countries prepare to “Drop, Cover and Hold On” as part of tomorrow’s Great Shakeout earthquake preparedness drill, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) urges residents in all areas with seismic risk to take the next step by preparing their property for an earthquake.
“Unlike other natural disasters, we cannot forecast when and where an earthquake will hit,” said Julie Rochman, IBHS president and CEO. “Preparedness is absolutely essential to reduce personal injuries and property damage caused by earthquakes.”
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the most common sources of damage and injury during earthquakes in the United States are falling objects. IBHS has identified affordable ways to secure six items commonly found in homes in its guide, Reduce Six Common Earthquake Risks for Less than $70.
Residents can do most of these projects themselves or with the help of someone who is handy with household tools. Before beginning projects, check with your local building department to make sure the solution is approved for use in your area, or is superior to what is required by your local building code. If you need to add flexible water or gas connections, you should have this done by a licensed contractor who has experience with these connections.
Other IBHS earthquake preparedness resources include:
There are three high risk regions within the U.S. that are prone to earthquake activity: the eight states in the New Madrid/Wabash Valley Seismic Zone, the Pacific West Coast, and Charleston, S.C. Current building codes in South Carolina and in the Pacific West Coast states meet acceptable standards for seismic resistance. The New Madrid/Wabash Valley Seismic Zone includes the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee, some of which do not have effective seismic resistance standards in place.
“IBHS reviewed the status of the building codes in the New Madrid/Wabash Valley region and we were troubled by our findings,” said Rochman. “Despite the risks, there remain areas vulnerable along the New Madrid fault that lack effective building codes for seismic resistance and where building code enforcement is inconsistent.”
IBHS is a leading national expert on preparing for, repairing and rebuilding structures after a catastrophe to make them more disaster-resistant. To arrange an interview with IBHS, contact Joseph King at 813-675-1045/813-442-2845, jking(at)ibhs(dot)org or via direct message on Twitter @jsalking.
Visit DisasterSafety.org for more information about how to make your buildings more resistant to a variety of disasters, large and small. Follow IBHS on Twitter at @DisasterSafety and on Facebook.
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IBHS is an independent, nonprofit, scientific and educational organization supported by the property insurance industry. The organization works to reduce the social and economic effects of natural disasters and other risks to residential and commercial property by conducting research and advocating improved construction, maintenance and preparation practices.