California Wildfire Awareness Week

The following notice from the California Department of Insurance struck a specific chord with me because I live in a wooded area and the recent rains have provided heavy underbrush. However, regardless of where we live it is imperative to “be prepared” and there is no better time than the present to  get it done.

INSURANCE COMMISSIONER JONES REMINDS HOMEOWNERS TO PREPARE FOR WILDFIRES
May 1 – 7 declared wildfire awareness week in California

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today reminded all homeowners, especially those who live in wildfire prone areas of the state, to be prepared for the potential threat of a wildfire.
“Even with the recent levels of precipitation California has received, homeowners should still be vigilant in preparing themselves and their property for the potential that a devastating wildfire might strike,” said Commissioner Jones. “Simple steps such as creating defensible space around your property and being prepared can save your home or reduce the impact of a wildfire on your home should one strike.”
Commissioner Jones reminds all homeowners to be prepared in the event of a wildfire by conducting a home inventory and offers the following tips:
Using a household digital camera and a Home Inventory Guide from the California Department of Insurance, catalogue your possessions and document their values. Photographs of household goods are especially helpful when an item is difficult to describe on paper, or if a purchase receipt cannot be obtained.

  • Label photographs with information about each item.
  • If a video recorder is used, commentary about each item should be included.
  • A copy of the inventory and supporting documentation, such as receipts and model numbers, should be stored in a safe place, such as a safe-deposit box, work office, or a relative’s house.
  • These records should also include financial documents such as insurance policies and mortgage information.
  • A free Home Inventory Guide is available at www.insurance.ca.gov .
  • Homeowners are encouraged to review their homeowners’ insurance policy with their agent to determine if they have sufficient coverage limits for the dwelling, personal property, and any special characteristics, such as antiques, expensive jewelry, and other valuable collections.
  • Contact CDI at 800-927-HELP to obtain consumer information guides about additional insurance products, or for any insurance-related questions.

Governor Brown has declared May 1-7 as wildfire awareness week. The proclamation can be found at http://gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=17019 .

Mark O'Bryan

mobryan@vanbeurden.com

Vice President | Los Osos