There’s no doubt that earthquakes can be powerful, and usually the bulk of that power goes to destroying things.
Typical, earthquake sensors are powered by battery, but Daniel Tomicek’s prototype is very low-powered and can make due with just the energy created by swaying buildings. When earthquakes occur, the energy harvested from the vibrations activates the wireless transceiver to transmit the data packets which contain the sensor’s identifier.
Last year, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence got a major boost when Russian billionaire Yuri Milner unveiled a $US100 million effort to scan the skies for radio and light signals emitted by aliens. Earthquake insurance is a form of property insurance that provides coverage if your home is damaged by an earthquake. Will your policy pay for the contents of your home and for additional living expenses if your home is badly damaged or destroyed? Most earthquake insurance policies feature a high deductible, which makes this type of insurance useful if the entire home is destroyed, and less  useful if the home is merely partially damaged. Exclusions: Every policy excludes some items from coverage, or sets specific limits on how much the homeowner could be reimbursed for them. Keep in mind insurance companies will generally put in a place at least a 30 day moratorium on writing new policies immediately following an earthquake. In all likelihood, almost the entire US would be better protected by purchasing earthquake insurance. Earthquake insurance needs can vary significantly – talk to us today to find out how to get the best price and value on earthquake insurance for you. A home being declared a total loss from a fire is more common than a homes being declared a total loss from an earthquake. A& M Insurance NewsletterPlease enter your email address in the field below to sign up for our newsletter. Brick Veneer, or Masonry Veneer exterior construction are sometimes excluded or surcharged for property damage depending upon the insurance policy terms and conditions. Earthquake coverage is designed to protect the structural integrity of your home and other structures on your property, and your personal contents in the event of an earthquake.
State-by-state guidelines differ, but there are traditionally percentage deductibles based off of the full replacement cost of one’s dwelling; 1%, 2% or 5%. The following are things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your property in the event of an earthquake. To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
Fasten heavy items such as pictures and mirrors securely to walls and away from beds, couches and anywhere people sit.
Secure your water heater, refrigerator, furnace and gas appliances by strapping them to the wall studs and bolting to the floor.
If recommended by your gas company, have an automatic gas shut-off valve installed that is triggered by strong vibrations. Why do all the earthquakes have to happen in the middle of the night when nobody can feel it?
The quake caused huge boulders and rocks to roll down the mountain as the climbers were descending at about 7.17 am, the report said.
Hopefully more information will emerge in the coming hours.  This earthquake should not have been responsible for large-scale loss of life, but there could be at least some infrastructure damage in a smallish area close to the epicentre.
About Dave Dave Petley is the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
Smith and Petley (2009): Environmental Hazards - Assessing risk and reducing disaster is my new book - the 5th edition of this best selling text. My department is offering a new Masters (MA and MSc) programme in Risk, including an MSc in Risk and Environmental Hazards. While you can’t stop an earthquake from quaking earth, a Victoria University student has found a way to divert some of that energy to monitoring the quake it came from. The greater the vibrations, the greater the energy harvested and the more packets that are sent.
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Not content to simply sit tight and wait for ET to hail us, Milner now plans to build interstellar spacecraft. Typically insurers limit this coverage to 20% of the dwelling limits or base it on a set amount of time, such as 12 to 24 months following the disaster. But the fact that you have, say, $100,000 in uncovered losses to your pool, fences, patio and personal effects, for instance, generally does not help satisfy the deductible. Geological Survey, there is a 70 percent probability that one or more damaging earthquakes of magnitude 6.7 or larger will strike the San Francisco Bay area during the next 30 years. Without specialty earthquake coverage, damage to a dwelling and contents as a result of earthquake or other forms of earth movement would be excluded. Flood is another peril that is not covered under a traditional home policy unless specialty coverage is added.
A minor earthquake can cause foundation, plumbing and electrical problems, and these can lead to other serious property damage such as collapse, explosion, fire, extensive water damage, or electrical arcing.
At other times, the accumulated energy grows strong enough to cause a large event, with significant after-shocks.
For example, building damages caused by nearby blasting activities or excavation on an adjacent lot that resulted in settling, sinking, and cracks and separations in the foundations were considered to be man-made activities and held to be covered, despite the earth movement exclusion. An earthquake means an earthquake and all related after?shocks occurring within 72 hours of the initial shock. This deductible applies separately to each coverage amount for your house and other permanent structures.
His blog provides a commentary on landslide events occurring worldwide, including the landslides themselves, latest research, and conferences and meetings. The book is a highly accessible, undergraduate level text that provides an introduction to the natural, social and technological events that combine to cause disasters. The seismic waveforms generated during a quake depend on many factors including including fault geometry and rock type, wave travel path, soil composition, nearby mountains and other geological structures, and location of the origin of the quake.The interaction of an earthquake with a structure is modeled by engineers, particularly civil or structural engineers, to produce the Response Spectrum for that particular quake. With earthquake coverage, contents are typically covered only to a set dollar amount, such as $5,000 or $10,000.
However, if you experience a loss due to a landslide, settlement, mudflow, or the rising, sinking and contracting of earth, your endorsement may cover it if the damage resulted from an earthquake.
In order to adequately protect your family and property, it’s important to understand what earthquake insurance is designed to cover in the event of a loss. Your home policy traditionally covers loss due to fire, water damage, or even explosion, even if the cause of the loss is due to an earthquake. If this occurs in a well-populated area, large-scale death, injuries and extensive property damage may result. It draws on the latest research findings to guide the reader from common problems, theories and policies to explore practical, real-world situations.
The Response Spectrum is a measure of how much a structure will respond to that particular earthquake and depends on the stiffness and mass of the structure and its damping. But between uncovered losses and deductibles, the out-of-pocket hit to homeowners can be devastating in a quake.
It’s important to note, there are insurance companies that include a policy exclusion rescinding coverage on property and contents damage unless a separate earthquake policy is in place, prior to the loss. In writing it we aimed to capture both the complexity and the dynamism of environmental hazards.
When an engineer wishes to perform a test on a structure in the laboratory, he or she defines a Required Response Spectrum, or RRS. Nothing that’s gonna make my roof collapse on me or inflict serious harm to anyone, just like 10 seconds of “WTF IS GOING ON! This RRS can then be used to create a motion in the lab to simulate a quake based on its particular wave patterns, allowing for further study through the reproduction of the original motions. ANCO’s seismic shake tables are used to simulate the vibrations of an earthquake in a safe and controlled manner. These tables can move in three dimensions and vibrate to realistically reproduce earthquake motions and the RRS.
This simulation is useful for the investigation of engineering problems related to maintaining safety during an earthquake. This includes ensuring the stability of structures such as hanging fixtures, the attachment of shelving and other fixtures to walls, and ensuring that any furniture present will not tumble about in the event of an earthquake or any moderate to severe vibrational force.In industry, for example, shake tables are used to assure that the safety equipment in a nuclear power plant will perform correctly during and after an earthquake.

LabVIEW is used to play a series of recorded earthquakes through the table to show how variable they are.
The engineers took advantage of LabVIEW’s spectral analysis capabilities to generate waveforms of a quake based on an experimentally recorded RRS.
The generated waveform is then put through filters and other signal processing to produce a more accurate model of earthquake motion. During the vibrational simulation of an earthquake, this video can be projected onto a screen and the audio can be played back to create a more immersive experience for any onlookers. A GUI (graphical user interface) allows for the use of this software control with relatively little training. To further keep control of the system simple, a library of approximately 50 earthquake scenarios can be dragged and dropped to form short sequences up to several minutes in length. Motor C, connected to the lower motor, runs continuously to move the surface in the horizontal direction. Motors A and B are connected to the upper motors, and their directions at first match, then rotate clockwise, then rotate counterclockwise. Changing the motor power over time, for example, could create interesting variation in the simulation. In the program shown below, three random number generators output a number between 25 and 75. The following program consists of quick changes in direction of both motors A and B, while motors A and B are always moving in the same direction at any given time.
This is looped to emulate a slower version of the vibrations caused by seismic waves during an earthquake. It undulates in a wavelike fashion, moving at times back and forth and at times lifting one side of the platform higher than the other.
However, since the power is variable, the rate of motion of the upper two motors varies randomly. The movement of this simulated quake is much less regular than that of version 1, at times bursting forth in quick motions and at other times going much more smoothly and slowly. A large ball is placed in a cage made of netting, while a vine hangs off of a rigid part of the netting structure.A chain is attached to a rigid part of the netting structure and is anchored at its opposite end to the brick platform. The scene includes two windows, two minifigures, a ladder propped on a window, a snake, and two pieces of greenery. During the simple vibrational motion, the ladder falls off of its place on the window quickly, and knocks one of the minifigs off of the platform as it continues to slide. This scene includes a large bay window, two minifigures, a snake, two pieces of greenery, and a ladder. A minifigure quickly tumbles backwards off of the platform, soon followed by the ladder, shrub, and second minifigure.
The bay window tumbles off, and the second piece of greenery soon slides off the platform, accompanied by the snake.
This demonstrates how lack of sound attachment of objects affects their ability to remain stable during earthquake-like circumstancesWhile the LEGO version of the shake table is nowhere near as precise as an ANCO manufactured shake table, it still provides students with the ability to model simple vibrations. The effects of these vibrations can be seen when the NXT programs are run and a platform is used with the test objects placed on its surface. The effect of changing variables on the stability of objects on the simple shake table can be demonstrated and tested.
Some variables that can be tested include mass, shape, size and method of attachment to the platform. A magnitude of 3-4 can be felt near the epicenter and is a moderate quake, whereas a magnitude of 6-7 can be largely destructive and is a major quake that can be felt for tens of miles around the epicenter. The earthquake energy injected into a structure is eventually dissipated to heat, minor scraping and deformation, and sound.
RRS – required Response Spectrum, or the peak response of a building or structure to an earthquake, depending on its resonant frequencies and damping.

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