What to do after an earthquake


Safety is the priority

  • Safety is the priority - don’t do anything that puts anyone at risk.
  • Once the shaking stops check for injuries and hazards.
  • Stay away from downed power lines, poles and wires, and fallen trees.
  • If you were directed to evacuate your property, only return to your property when emergency services give the go ahead.
  • If you suspect your property has sustained structural damage, leave it immediately and contact the SES. Contact your insurer to see if your policy covers temporary housing expenses if required.

Check for damage

  • Take care as structural damage may be hidden.
  • Check gas, electrical, and water lines, and check appliances for damage.

Contact your insurer

  • Contact your insurer as soon as you can to lodge a claim.
  • Speak to your insurer before you attempt or authorise any building work, including emergency repairs, and ask for the insurer’s permission in writing. Unauthorised work may not be covered by your policy.
  • Do not be concerned if you can’t find your insurance papers. Insurers have electronic records and need only your name and address.

Cleaning up

  • As evidence to support your claim, take pictures of damage to property and possessions, and keep samples of materials from damaged goods. This will be used by your insurer to process your claim as quickly as possible.
  • You can remove and discard any damaged goods that may pose a health risk, but take photos or videos to show the assessor.
  • Keep any items that could be repaired and if in doubt speak to your insurer.
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