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Home > About CEA > In Your Community > Community Stories > 2020 > CEA Goes Virtual During COVID-19 Era

CEA Goes Virtual During COVID-19 Era

July 24, 2020

Members of the California Earthquake Authority (CEA) meet via Zoom with members of the California Desert Association of Realtors (CDAR) on July 9.
Members of the California Earthquake Authority (CEA) meet via Zoom with members of the California Desert Association of Realtors (CDAR) on July 9.

Up until mid-March 2020, it was routine for us at the California Earthquake Authority (CEA) to meet and shake hands with our partners and other members of our community, but all that changed abruptly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To help slow the spread of the potentially deadly virus we began to shelter in place and work from home, and suddenly virtual platforms became our new best friends. 

As part of adapting to a “new normal,” we started meeting community members throughout California—online! These virtual sessions allow us to continue spreading the message of earthquake preparedness. This July, our Agent and Community Liaison, Mark Toohey, met with members of the California Desert Association of Realtors (CDAR). In addition to receiving information about earthquake risk in their region, participants from the Palm Desert area also learned about the importance of strengthening their older homes with a seismic retrofit, especially if their houses were built before 1980. Most retrofits only take about two to three days, with a completed retrofit making houses more resistant to earthquake damage.

CEA’s Agent and Community Liaison, Mark Toohey, speaking to members of the CDAR on July 9.
CEA’s Agent and Community Liaison, Mark Toohey, speaking to members of the CDAR on July 9.

Prior to that meeting, Toohey also presented to an audience in the Redlands area, with the East Valley Association of Realtors (EVAR) on July 8. The virtual presentation, included some of the attendees eagerly testing our online Premium Calculator on the spot. They were able to get a customized estimate for an earthquake insurance policy based on their own needs and budgets. The tool is easy to use and is accessible to everyone at any time.

CEAs meet via Zoom with members of the EVAR on July 8.
CEAs meet via Zoom with members of the EVAR on July 8.

And in the month of June, CEA Chief Mitigation Officer, Janiele Maffei, was invited to present to the Berkeley Breakfast Club. She emphasized the importance of strengthening or retrofitting a home by bolting or bracing and bolting it to its foundation to help the structure be more resistant to shaking. This message—of securing our homes—is especially important now since we are spending more time at home, due to COVID restrictions.

Slideshow presentation from CEA during the Zoom presentation for members of East Valley Association of Realtors (EVAR) on July 8.
Slideshow presentation from CEA during the Zoom presentation for members of East Valley Association of Realtors (EVAR) on July 8.

At CEA, we are eager to continue engaging with members of our community utilizing common communication tools such as telephone, email, and our social media platforms. These forms of communication allow us to help educate, mitigate, and insure residents against earthquake risk in California. And now, during the COVID-19 era, we are motivated to take advantage of emerging tools such as video conferencing to continue our relationship with the public—because even during this pandemic, an earthquake could happen today.

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