Aug 30, 2021

Living In An Area Prone To Natural Disasters

If you live in an area prone to forest fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, or floods as many do, are you prepared if you need to evacuate and or be without electricity for days or weeks.   Since we live in an area that has forest fires and earthquakes, we have had to evacuate more than once.  And, we have been without electricity for a number of days and it is not fun.  If you think it will never happen to you, think again. 

When growing up, we lived through the Sylmar and Northridge earthquakes in California and they were both devastating.  Matter of fact the apartment building I lived in while going to university completely collapsed as did many buildings on my university campus.  We have had to evacuate three times for fires that burned right up to our homes in three different locations and two states; California and Nevada.  In another case, we were visiting our son and family in Dallas when the tornado sirens went off, which required moving to the middle of the house, since they have no basement.  It was pretty scary.  

If the day comes when you have to evacuate, you better know what you are going to take with you because you will not have much time to react.  So, things like important documents should all be in one place.  Family photographs that may be irreplaceable should be in one big box.  If you own valuable jewelry or art that you can be put in an SUV or car get ready to take it with you.  And by the way, take all cars, since if your home burns down the last thing you need is your cars lost too.  Clothing can all be replaced; but you will need enough things to get you by for a week or two.  

If you plan to stay in your home after the natural disaster occurs, there is a pretty good chance that you may not have drinking water so having several gallons of bottled water in storage is a good idea.  This also means that toilets may not be functional so staying in your home may be impossible.  And, if you own a generator make sure it is operating outside your home to avoid asphyxiation from the smoke it releases.  

Most important, if you live in an area where natural disaster frequently occur, you better make sure you have insurance to cover the complete destruction of your home.  Regular home insurance does not cover floods or earthquakes.  You must buy specific insurance to cover damage from those events.  And, make sure you have enough coverage to rebuild your home.  It is a good idea to meet with your insurance agent every few years to determine if your coverage is currently sufficient to cover building cost.  We see terrible things happen in various areas of the country and we assume it could never happen to us.  Well think again because natural disasters can impact anyone.