Officials Remind Oklahomans To Be Prepared For Earthquakes

Tuesday, February 7th 2012, 5:20 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

Oklahoma had another earthquake Tuesday, just minutes after a multi-state "Shake Out" Earthquake drill. The quake also came on the very day the Governor proclaimed Earthquake Preparedness Day.

2/7/2012 Related Story: Earthquake Shakes Oklahoma Moments After 'ShakeOut' Drill

But that may not be as big of coincidence as you may think. That's because here in Oklahoma already this year, we have been averaging about four measurable earthquakes a day.

All the more reason officials are reminding us all the importance of protecting ourselves physically and financially.

The students at East Side Elementary in Midwest City have now added an earthquake drill to their list of emergency procedures.

"This is the first time to ever do this drill," principal Rod Boyer said.

And there's a good reason for that.

"If you count them all, it's probably the largest number of earthquakes we've had in a single year," said Dr. Kenneth Luza, referring to 2011 when he said Oklahoma had thousands of earthquakes.

"We don't know yet if this is a trend or if this is going to diminish," he said. "The normal is 70 earthquakes a year,"

Most earthquakes, however, Boyer said are small and produce minimal or no damage.

Sill, Insurance Commissioner John Doak is urging all Oklahomans to consider earthquake insurance.

"That's your biggest financial asset," Doak said. "You need to protect that."

Doak said many Oklahomans are deterred by deductibles that can range from one percent to ten percent of a home's value. But he counters, just as we teach our kids to protect ourselves from a physical blow, we should protect ourselves from a financial one.

"So what can you afford to lose? Rather than walk away hand your mortgage (company) the keys to your home as has happened around the state."

Earthquake insurance falls in the $60 to $500 dollar range, and some companies won't allow you to add coverage for a certain period following a seismic event.