"At a time when wildfires are causing more damage to homes and businesses each year, Preparedness Day is a reminder that there are many things we can do to be prepared for wildfire."
Wildfire Community Preparedness Day is coming up on Saturday, May 6th. There’s no better time to prepare for wildfire season than right now. Even if you don’t live in areas historically prone to wildfires, it’s a good idea to be aware of ways to protect your family, home, or business from damage or destruction. Here are our top 5 tips to prepare for a wildfire:
1.) Make your property as safe as possible.
Take precautions by disposing of flammable items in and around your property and choosing fire-resistant landscaping and construction supplies. Make the cleaning and maintenance of your gutters and roof part of your outdoor spring cleaning annual plan. More ideas for making your home or business more resistant to burning can be found on the Weather Underground’s website.
2.) Review your property insurance policy.
Verify with your broker that your property is properly insured for the current cost of rebuilding, as material and construction costs vary from year to year. If you’ve made any renovations or additions that would affect the value of your property, you’ll want to immediately inform your insurance broker.
3.) Have the right tools at your disposal.
Download apps on your phone or tablet that alert you to active wildfires in your area, watch the news, and listen to the radio. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration lists nationwide radio frequencies that broadcast continuous weather information directly from the nearest National Weather Service office.
4.) Heed all warnings from local officials.
Wildfires can spread unpredictably and quickly. Be ready to evacuate at any time you should be instructed to do so by officials. Keep a full tank of gas in your car, gather a fully stocked emergency kit, have an evacuation plan ready and a communications plan - including how to get in touch with your loved ones and where to meet. Remember, pets are family too so be sure to include them in your plans!
5.) Have an accurate inventory of your household or business contents.
Take the time to take pictures or video of each room and gather receipts of large or valuable purchases you’ve made. Be extremely detailed in your accounting as you may not recoup all that you should (or think you should) if you cannot prove that you owned the items to your insurance company. Wildfires can completely damage property so storing this information in the Cloud or in a safety deposit box at your bank is your best bet.
Listen to our podcast on "Wildfires: Filing Property Insurance Claims for One of Nature's Most Fearsome Foes" for tips from our experts:
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