Thursday, July 3, 2008

Info for wildfire evacuees

Fast moving wildfires like the Gap Fire in Goleta can force sudden evacuations, giving homeowners little time to prepare and leaving them with many questions. If you ever think an evacuation may occur, brief preparation now can help make the process easier on you and your family.

Before you leave…..

• Collect all your important papers and documents. This includes banking, insurance, and financial information, as well as your bills and checkbook.
• Think carefully about what items are easily replaceable by insurance and what items are not, like family heirlooms, keepsakes, and pictures.
• If you don’t have an up-to-date home inventory, walk through your home with a video or still camera. At the same time, make a list of what items you want to take, and have room to take, during an evacuation.
• Review your policy or contact your insurance agent to see if your homeowners policy has coverage that may pay for living expenses while you’re evacuated and to answer any questions you may have about your insurance policies.

If you leave….

• Always listen to and obey authorities if they advise you and your family to leave your home.
• Tell your neighbors where you will be going and exchange contact information.
• Inform your insurance agent you have been evacuated.
• Respect law enforcement decisions on when you are allowed to return home.

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