What Smart Homeowners Do to Prepare for the Unthinkable
Fires and Floods Affect Millions of People Each Year
It's not supposed to happen, but every year in the United States we lose too many lives, homes, and possessions to fires and floods. In 2019, firefighters responded to 1.3 million fires and 14 million people were impacted by flooding! These two disasters alone caused more than $29 billion in property damage.
People often ask why the topic of fire and flood damage isn't discussed more since it occurs so often.
The answer is easy! We don’t WANT to believe it will happen to us, so somehow, magically it won’t!
It’s not very scientific (or effective), but with the huge number of losses each year, it shouldn’t surprise anyone when it happens to us.
Plan Ahead for Possible Fire, Water, and Weather Disasters
1. Find a trusted source to get accurate information when there are storm-related or other emergency issues.
2. Know your insurance deductibles and have that amount of money in a savings account.
3. Keep a printed copy of your homeowner's insurance policy stored with a friend or family member and another in a zip-lock bag in your freezer. Download a digital copy to your phone and keep it in a document file.
4. Keep a "bug-out" bag packed with essentials just in case you need to grab supplies in a hurry. Include:
- Copies of your phone list
- Copies of your insurance records
- See: 25 Things to Pack for an Evacuation
5. Make an escape plan with your family that includes a meeting place. Choose a place on your property and a place away from home just in case home is not safe. Practice it so you are ready no matter what happens.
6. Along with a spare tire and tools, keep an emergency kit in your vehicle. Items such as small thermal blankets, rain ponchos, flashlights, flares, chargers, first-aid, etc.
7. Take a video or photographic inventory of your home interior, including cupboards and drawers. Store or share a copy with family or your insurance provider. Remember to update this information annually.
8. Maintain your outdoor environment by removing dead or damaged trees that may fall during a storm. A well-maintained green zone around your home will help to protect from fire as well.
9. Prepare three specific phone lists:
10. Most of all, don’t take chances when an emergency arises! There will be local resources available for you if necessary. Your home is insured and can be replaced, YOU cannot.