No one imagines they will experience a horrifying event in their life such as an earthquake. While you may notice mild tremors every few months, a full-scale earthquake is an entirely different experience.
Unfortunately, the occasional earthquake is part of life in New Zealand, which is why homeowners and business owners must be ready. Below are five steps to take after an earthquake occurs.
- Check Gas and Water Lines
One of the first steps you should take after an earthquake is to check the gas and water lines to your home. As a precaution, you may want to turn them off for a few hours. Then you can turn them back on when you know the area is secure, and that nothing is wrong with gas or water coming into your neighborhood.
Such a step should only be carried out after you have spent a few minutes sheltering, and you are not noticing any more tremors. That is when you know the earthquake has passed, and that you are safe to move around.
- Contact a Professional Engineer
If you have a home or business that is impacted by an earthquake, you are not in a position to assess structural damage. A professional firm such as Wrightway Construction is in a much better position to come in and assess the foundation and other parts of your home.
With the help of structural engineering and geotechnical engineering experts, you can quickly get an understanding for what may be wrong with your property. They will explain where any issues are present, and what must be done to resolve those problems.
- Connect With Your Insurer
One of the advantages of having a thorough home insurance policy is its earthquake coverage. That means if you have to employ structural engineering or geotechnical engineering professionals, you can get your insurer to cover most of the costs.
Ensure you show them photos of any damage that occurred to your property, along with forwarding the report from the engineer that came to your house or business. They can then liaise with the professional to get more information, or they might choose to bring in their own expert to assess the damage.
- Consider a Retrofit
If you’ve just gone through an earthquake, you may be wondering how to protect your home and family in the future. Even as a business owner, you do not want a compromised building to injure customers during an earthquake.
You can talk to the relevant professionals about an earthquake retrofit, which involves making changes to your property to make it more earthquake resistant. Many of these renovations can be made when the engineers come into your home to repair damage caused by the most recent earthquake.
- Formulate a Future Action Plan
Were you panicking when the earthquake happened? Perhaps you and your family or employees were not sure where to shelter during the event. After a few weeks pass, sit down and create an action plan you can use to guide your response to a future earthquake.