When disaster strikes, life as it was before can be
changed forever. You may have lost the
ability to live in your home temporarily or long term depending on the amount
of damage. Keeping yourself safe is the first and most important step. If the
authorities have evacuated the area, do not attempt to return until the area
has been deemed safe and officially re-opened. Many dangers exist with damaged
infrastructure such as downed power lines, gas leaks, and potentially other
While awaiting return to the evacuated area you can
contact your insurance company to verify coverage information for the
structure, contents, and possibly loss of use. Upon return to the area, take
many photos of the damage/loss before cleaning it up to thoroughly document
your losses. Follow the guidance of your insurance provider to help ensure you
get the best result from your policy coverage.
Often after a disaster local government partnering with state and federal agencies and nonprofits will establish a Local Assistance Center (LAC). The LAC provides a single facility at which individuals, families and businesses can access available disaster assistance programs and services. The mission of the LAC is to assist communities by providinga centralized location for services and resource referrals for unmet needs following a disaster or significant emergency. At the LAC, there will be resources to assist you in the recovery process. Some resources that may be available include American Red Cross, Department of Motor Vehicles for replacement driver’s licenses and vehicle titles, county recorder’s office for replacement copies of vital records needed to establish your identity at banks or financial institutions when in need of replacement debit cards or checkbooks.
Various assistance programs may be available after State and Federally declared disasters. Typically, assistance is intended to help survivors get back on their feet not to return them to their pre-disaster state.
Check with the local government building and waste management agencies that have jurisdiction in your area; they may have debris removal or recycling programs you can participate in as you begin repairing and rebuilding.
There are many different types of earthquake hazard
mitigation including, securing nonstructural hazards in your home and at work,
strapping water heaters, installing flexible gas service connectors, installing
mobile home supports that meet seismic recommendations for your area and the
Brace and Bolt program at the California Earthquake Authority.
Being aware of the hazards in your area using the Cal OES
My Hazards Program will help you identify where you might need to consider
Cal OES My Hazards
Brace + Bolt Program
California Earthquake Authority, California Residential Mitigation Program