Earthquakes in Texas – Fact Not Fiction

“I feel the earth move under my feet.” Yes Carole King, so do we, even here in Texas. Sorry, we know that song is stuck in your head now. Go ahead and listen and sing along. Just come back for the rest of the article.

Are there really earthquakes in Texas?

Yes there are. As a matter of fact, we Texans have lived through more than 100 notable earthquakes since 1847. And even though we haven’t had any damaging earthquakes in the Austin Texas area, or the Hill Country surrounding Austin (like Spicewood and Burnet County) in recent memory… we could be living on borrowed time.

Are any of these Texas earthquakes recent?

Yes they are. As recently as 2012-2013, Dallas experienced several earthquakes reaching a magnitude of 3.4 on the Richter scale. As a matter of fact, there have been more than 15 notable earthquake incidents in Texas since 2010.

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?

Like all risks, it is not a question of “what are my chances if it happens?” Instead, it’s a question of, “IF it happens, am I ready?”

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?

Here are some simple things you can do to be prepared for an earthquake in Texas:

  1. Keep some emergency supplies in several places, like work and also at a family member’s house.
  2. Know where your nearest fire and police stations are.
  3. 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.
  4. Secure tall furniture to the walls, such as tall bookcases. Even a small earthquake in Texas can topple a heavy bookcase and hurt someone.
  5. 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.

There are many more things you can do to prepare for an earthquake. Check out this earthquake Facts and Fantasy page for more ideas.

Can I buy earthquake insurance in Texas?

Yes you can. And the premiums may be lower than you expected. You can request a quote on earthquake insurance in Texas from us. You may also just want to give us a call. We insure folks from all over Texas. Whiteside Insurance is an independent insurance agency in central Texas, and we represent multiple companies. Currently, we can quote earthquake insurance with Travelers, Hartford and Met Life. Call us at (877) 693-8882.