IBHS Urges Americans to Participate in Great Shakeout Oct. 15

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Tiffany O’Shea
Public Affairs Director, IBHS
Phone: (512) 636-7811
Email: toshea@ibhs.org
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IBHS Consumer Guide Recommends 6 Inexpensive Projects to Reduce Earthquake Damage

TAMPA (Oct. 12, 2015) – As more than 20 million people worldwide prepare to “Drop, Cover and Hold On” during the Great Shakeout earthquake drill Oct. 15, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) urges residents across the U.S. to take the next step by ensuring their homes are ready for an earthquake to reduce potential property damage.

“Unlike many other natural disasters, earthquakes cannot be forecast, and can strike at any time without warning,” said Julie Rochman, IBHS president and CEO. “Participating in events like the Great Shakeout are essential for residents to be prepared when an earthquake strikes. Taking action now will reduce personal injuries and property damage that can be caused by earthquakes.”

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), falling objects are the most common source of damage and injury during earthquakes. IBHS’ consumer guide, Reduce Six Common Earthquake Risks for Less than $70, recommends projects most residents can do themselves or with the help of someone who is handy with household tools.

“California is not the only area at risk from earthquakes,” Rochman continued. “Updated seismic maps from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) found an increased risk of earthquake for one-third of the country.”

While the West Coast, Alaska and areas along the New Madrid fault in the central U.S. still have the highest risk, the USGS study found that 42 states have a reasonable chance of experiencing a damaging earthquake over a 50-year time period. In addition to Alaska and California, the states at highest risk for earthquakes are those in the New Madrid seismic zone (Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee), as well as Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Visit IBHS’ Earthquake landing page for additional recommendations on reducing property damage specific to homes and businesses. For more information and to participate in the Great Shakeout, visit Shakeout.org. FEMA supports the Great ShakeOut as part of America’s PrepareAthon!, a community-based campaign that asks everyone to take action to be prepared for disasters common in their location. Information on America’s PrepareAthon! is available at www.ready.gov/prepare.


About the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) IBHS’ mission is to conduct objective, scientific research to identify and promote effective actions that strengthen homes, businesses, and communities against natural disasters and other causes of loss.