March 27, 2015
PCI Remembers 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake Victims; Stresses Need to Be Prepared
JUNEAU — The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) joins the state of Alaska and the nation in remembering the victims of the 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake and urges residents to be financially and physically prepared for future earthquakes.
Governor Bill Walker has proclaimed today “1964 Alaskan Earthquake Remembrance Day.” The magnitude 9.2 earthquake was the second largest earthquake in recorded history. The earthquake and its subsequent tsunamis killed more than 130 people.
“PCI joins Alaska in remembering the people who died as a result of the powerful 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake,” said Armand Feliciano, PCI regional manager. “Today also is an important reminder that a devastating earthquake can strike at any time—with little or no warning. Homeowners need to protect themselves and their property with emergency plans and appropriate insurance coverage.”
The standard homeowner’s insurance policy does not provide coverage for earthquake damage, which means homeowners need to consider earthquake insurance as a separate policy. PCI urges all residents to review their insurance policies and talk to their agents about coverage options.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency provides additional earthquake preparedness tips, including:
• Prepare a disaster supplies kit for your home, workplace and car.
• Make a family communications plan.
• Store breakable items such as bottled foods, glass and china in low, closed cabinets with latches.
• Fasten heavy items such as pictures and mirrors securely to walls and away from beds, couches and anywhere people sit.
• Brace overhead light fixtures and top-heavy objects.
• Get professional help to repair any potential fire risks like defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections.
• Install flexible pipe fittings, which are more resistant to breakage and can help avoid gas or water leaks.
• Secure your water heater, refrigerator, furnace and gas appliances by strapping them to the wall studs and bolting to the floor. If recommended by your gas company, have an automatic gas shut-off valve installed that is triggered by strong vibrations.
• Repair any deep cracks in ceilings or foundations and get expert advice if there are signs of structural defects.
• Be sure the residence is firmly anchored to its foundation.
• Store flammable liquids, such as painting or cleaning products, in a garage or outside shed.
• Hold periodic earthquake drills with your family and teach everyone to Drop, Cover and Hold On. Locate safe spots in each room under a sturdy table or against an inside wall. Reinforce this information by moving to these places during each drill.
PCI promotes and protects the viability of a competitive private insurance market for the benefit of consumers and insurers. PCI is composed of nearly 1,000 member companies, representing the broadest cross section of insurers of any national trade association. PCI members write more than $183 billion in annual premium, 35 percent of the nation’s property casualty insurance. Member companies write 42 percent of the U.S. automobile insurance market, 27 percent of the homeowners market, 32 percent of the commercial property and liability market and 34 percent of the private workers compensation market.