Oklahomans noticed their windows rattling last night as yet another earthquake struck Oklahoma. It wasn’t the biggest of the last few months but it was another warning from mother nature that unseen things are happening beneath the red dirt. State and federal officials have taken notice too and are concerned that more and bigger quakes are on their way.
Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak is advising Oklahomans to purchase earthquake insurance after a report from the U.S. Geological Survey predicts seismic activity will continue in the state. “With an average 40 earthquakes per year, we feel very strongly that this is something we need to be talking about in Oklahoma,” Doak said. “Earthquake insurance is available and affordable in Oklahoma, but not that many people have the coverage.”
The state is known for wind and ferocious summer storms but a look at recent history shows the state is also rocking and rolling. Oklahoma has had more then 200 earthquakes with a magnitude of 3.0 or greater since January 2009, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Yet less than 1% of the state’s homeowners and renters have earthquake insurance. Standard homeowners or renters insurance polices do not cover damage caused by earthquakes.
Make sure you and your family know what to do in case of an earthquake. Parts of Oklahoma are just a few hundred miles from the location of the largest earthquake in the history of the US, New Madrid, Mo. Here are a few things to do and be mindful of to protect yourself and your family in the event of the big one.
- If you’re indoors, stay there. Get under — and hold onto –a desk or table, or stand against an interior wall. Stay clear of exterior walls, glass, heavy furniture, fireplaces and appliances. The kitchen is a particularly dangerous spot. If you’re in an office building, stay away from windows and outside walls and do not use the elevator.
- If you’re outside, get into the open. Stay clear of buildings, power lines or anything else that could fall on you.
- If you’re driving, move the car out of traffic and stop. Avoid parking under or on bridges or overpasses. Try to get clear of trees, light posts, signs and power lines. When you resume driving, watch out for road hazards.
- If you’re in a mountainous area, beware of the potential for landslides. Likewise, if you’re near the ocean, be aware that tsunamis are associated with large earthquakes. Get to high ground.
- If you’re in a crowded public place, avoid panicking and do not rush for the exit. Stay low and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms.
It is always best to heed mother natures warning. So get earthquake insurance and educate your family on what to do when things begin to rattle and roll. The statistics speak for themselves. It is only a matter of time until the next quake and none can know if it will be damaging or not.