Amica Insurance Offers Earthquake Safety Tips for Tomorrow’s Great ShakeOut

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The Great ShakeOut, an international earthquake awareness effort, takes place tomorrow (Oct. 18), reminding people to “Drop, cover and hold on!” if an earthquake occurs. Amica Insurance reminds everyone that earthquakes can occur anywhere, anytime, so it’s important to be prepared.

Amica Insurance reminds everyone to "Drop, cover and hold on!" if an earthquake strikes. (Photo courtesy of

There's no way to predict when a damaging earthquake will strike, so it's important that everyone knows what to do in case one occurs.

The earthquake that rattled the Northeast earlier this week reminds us that earthquakes can strike anywhere, at anytime. That’s why Amica Insurance is sharing some important safety tips in advance of tomorrow’s Great ShakeOut – an international earthquake awareness effort.

“Many people think earthquakes only happen in places like California, but they actually occur every day in locations all over the world,” said Lisa St. Onge, an assistant vice president with Amica Insurance.

The National Earthquake Information Center reports there are as many as 500,000 detectable earthquakes in the world each year, but only about 100 are large enough to cause damage.

“There’s no way to predict when a damaging earthquake will strike, so it’s important that everyone knows what to do in case one occurs,” St. Onge said.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends a strategy called “Drop, cover and hold on!”

  • DROP – Immediately drop to the ground if you suspect an earthquake is occurring. There’s no way to know if the initial jolt is the start of a larger earthquake, so drop to the ground before you’re knocked down. The shaking may be so violent that you will be unable to run or crawl.
  • COVER – Take cover by getting under a sturdy table or desk, or at least cover your face and head with your arms. The greatest risk of injury is from falling or flying objects. Do not run outside.
  • HOLD ON – The ground or floor will be shaking, so hold on to something sturdy until the shaking stops. Take care when moving around after an earthquake; watch out for fallen objects and broken glass. Get to a clear area away from wires, buildings and other items that could hurt you.

FEMA and other emergency agencies are encouraging people to practice the “Drop, cover and hold on!” drills tomorrow as part of the Great ShakeOut.

St. Onge said homeowners can also take steps to help reduce the risk of damage and injury should an earthquake occur. Here are some of FEMA’s recommended precautions:

  • Make sure shelves are securely fastened to walls and place large or heavy objects on bottom shelves.
  • Store breakable items such as glass and china in low, closed cabinets that can be latched shut.
  • Securely fasten heavy items such as pictures and mirrors to walls and make sure they’re not near beds, couches and chairs where people may sit.
  • Make sure overhead light fixtures are securely fastened. Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections, which create potential fire risks.
  • Locate safe spots in each room, including under sturdy tables and against inside walls.

“We urge everyone to take time now to prepare for earthquakes and other emergency situations,” St. Onge said. “The best thing any of us can do is to be prepared before disaster strikes.”

Find additional information about earthquake preparedness on FEMA’s website at For information about insurance for earthquakes and other disasters, contact Amica at 800-242-6422 or visit

About Amica Mutual Insurance

Amica Mutual Insurance Company, the nation's oldest mutual insurer of automobiles, was founded in 1907. The company, with corporate headquarters in Lincoln, RI, is a national writer of automobile, homeowners, marine and personal umbrella liability insurance. Life coverage is available through Amica Life Insurance Company, a wholly owned subsidiary. Amica employs more than 3,100 people in 40 offices across the country.

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Vince Burks