Many of us associate earthquake risk mainly with California and her neighbors. This is a common and potentially dangerous misconception. According to the USGS, nearly half of all Americans live in an area potentially affected by a damaging earthquake. Could you be one of them? Let’s take a look at some risk factors for earthquake damage to help you assess your vulnerability.


Did you know that almost all of the western United States experiences earthquakes? Folks in the Northeast and many of the southern states are prone to earthquakes, as well. If you live in one of these areas, consider purchasing an earthquake insurance policy to protect your assets. Additionally, the soil type in your area can affect your vulnerability. If your home is built on hard, compact dirt, it may fair better in an earthquake. Homes built on sandy soil may not do so well.

Type of Home Construction

Is your home constructed of wood or concrete block? While you might think concrete block is sturdier, the opposite is true when it comes to earthquakes. Wood-built homes stand a better chance in an earthquake because the material is more flexible and can better withstand the torsion that comes with a quake. Also, if your home has more than one story, it is more likely to be damaged when the ground shakes.

Knowing your risk factors for earthquake damage can help you and your family be better protected in the event of such a natural disaster.