Preparing for the Big One
In California, we know it’s not a matter of if, but when, the next damaging earthquake will strike. Even with the recent Ridgecrest earthquakes in July, scientists tell us that there is a greater than 99% chance of one or more magnitude 6.7 earthquakes striking our state. What you do now, before a big quake, will determine how well you and your insureds survive and recover.
One of the key steps you can take is to encourage your insureds and potential clients, to register and participate in the Great ShakeOut—a worldwide earthquake safety drill held annually on the third Thursday of October. This year, the ShakeOut will take place on October 17 at 10:17 a.m. It is free and open to the public, and participants include individuals, schools, businesses, local and state government agencies, and many other groups. It is only a five-minute commitment for something that can save a life.
To take part, individuals and organizations are asked to join the earthquake drill by registering to participate. Once registered, participants receive regular information on how to plan their drill and become better prepared for earthquakes and other disasters.
Practice Drop, Cover, and Hold On
The ShakeOut drill reminds you to practice the basics of how to react should a major quake begin. Endorsed by emergency officials and first responders, the safe response to an earthquake is to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On.”
Drop onto your hands and knees and stay low, as this keeps you from falling over in the swaying or being knocked over by debris.
Cover your head and neck with an arm and crawl under a sturdy shelter, away from windows.
Hold on tight to whatever sturdy table or desk you’ve gotten under until the shaking stops.
To help you plan for the ShakeOut drill, explore the resources developed for businesses, schools, colleges, government offices, and non-profit organizations. Graphics and videos are also available for your website, newsletter, or your social media accounts.
Prepare Your Insureds as Well
This is also a perfect opportunity for you to share some other helpful resources with your clients, such as:
Preparedness information so they can get their home and family ready before an earthquake strikes.
The Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety, which teach how to prepare to survive and recover from the next damaging earthquake.
Ways Californians can strengthen their houses to help make them more resistant to earthquake damage.
The ShakeOut is also a natural lead-in to helping your policyholders understand the value of a California Earthquake Authority earthquake insurance policy.
Give Them Peace of Mind
Many Californians mistakenly believe that earthquake damage is covered under their residential insurance policy. As you know, to be covered, they’ll need a separate earthquake policy.
Remind them that without coverage, they will be responsible for the full costs of repair or replacement. There is no government guarantee of recovery grants or loans.
As their trusted advisor and a CEA-trained agent:
Point out their earthquake risk.Ask if they have the ability to pay for the full cost of damages.
Review CEA's flexible products and affordable deductibles.
Explain how CEA coverage will help financially protect their home and belongings when an earthquake strikes.
You may have missed out on your chance to order CEA’s free postage-paid direct-mail piece timed to this year's ShakeOut, but you can still capitalize on the media buzz around the event—including CEA’s increased advertising during this time—to help you sell more CEA policies.
Share ShakeOut registration links on your Facebook page.
Raise awareness by posting about the importance of preparedness, including getting earthquake insurance coverage to protect their home and belongings.
And, be sure to participate in our Marketing Value Program (MVP) now so that you are prepared to order our postage-paid direct-mail pieces in the future.
Don’t miss out on a golden opportunity to educate your customers about earthquake preparedness and sell more policies at the same time. The Great ShakeOut can help your insureds survive and recover quickly from the next big earthquake. And with your help, they will be able to recover financially as well.