Are there really earthquakes in Texas?
Are any of these Texas earthquakes recent?
But it gets worse. Lots of potential "house-buster" earthquakes are lurking under the ground, and they send up little warning shots all the time. Texas had over 50 earthquakes that measured 1.5 or greater on the seismograph just this year (2014), and we just got hit by a 3.4 earthquake south of Fort Worth on November 29, 2014, that was reported by almost 200 people.
What's the risk of a big earthquake in Texas?
Dozens of small earthquakes happen every year in Texas that are still large enough to cause minor damage to your home or business. Even an earthquake as small as 2.5 on the Richter scale can damage your property.
So far, we've been fortunate in Texas that we haven't experienced the "big one" yet. That helps keep earthquake insurance premiums lower than in states like California and Alaska.
What can you do to stay safe?
- Keep some emergency supplies in several places, like work and also at a family member's house.
- Know where your nearest fire and police stations are.
- Have a pre-arranged designated spot to meet your family or friends in the event of an earthquake. Cell phone coverage may be interrupted. Everyone should know where to meet if that happens.
- Secure tall furniture to the walls, such as tall bookcases. Even a small earthquake in Texas can topple a heavy bookcase and hurt someone.
- Ask a handyman friend to check on gas appliances (like water heaters) to make sure they are securely bolted down and won't easily shift in a small earthquake.