Disaster Evacuation & Recovery: a four week plan

Correct Links:  some links in a recent email on this topic were incorrect.  Here are the correct links:  suggested Go Bag list; suggested Grab Bag list; four-page Four Week Plan.

Since last October 8, I have listened to many folks who found themselves instantaneously aware of the need to leave their homes – some had 5 minutes, some had a few hours.  Many of those folks ultimately lost their home.

In the last ten days, the smoke from fires in neighboring counties has made all of us uneasy.  We cannot change the conditions creating such wildfires in months, or maybe even years.  Additionally, we live in earthquake country.  So, we must ALL be prepared for quick evacuation and/or disaster response.

 First: everyone should be subscribed to Nixle – via www.nixle.com – a government service that alerts you to all kinds of emergency situations, evacuation notices, fire information, road closures, etc.  Sign-up is easy.  Make sure you enroll for notices from both Napa County Sheriff and Napa County EOS (emergency operations services) as well as your appropriate city/town.

Go_Bag Second: everyone needs a Go Bag.  That is what you prepare now to take when you leave your home.  There are many suggestions for contents at various websites.  Click here for a suggested list.  The wikihow website has a great visual presentation.

 Third: I suggest the following four-week plan based in part on what many victims of the October fires say they regretted in terms of not being prepared to leave and/or lose their home.

By Labor Day, you will be far better prepared if you take these steps – preparing for both evacuation and insurance recovery.  For more details on each task, and why each step is necessary, please click here.

Week One:

Evacuation Prep:

subscribe to Nixle – 15-minute task

prepare the Go Bag – a 1-2 hours task.

prepare a Grab List (using this sample) in 30 minutes (you’ll only have 5 minutes if you wait for the mandatory evacuation notice).

Insurance Prep:  

make an appointment with your insurance broker (for Week Four).

walk through each room of your home and video it.  Open drawers and photograph the contents you would want to report for insurance recovery purposes.

Week Two:

Evacuation Prep: back up your hard drive

Insurance Prep:   read your insurance policy

Week Three:

Evacuation Prep: passwords.  Put your password list in the cloud or at an offsite secure location.

Insurance Prep: visit www.uphelp.org – for self-help education; start with buying tips [https://www.uphelp.org/resources/buying-tips].  Purchase their “little yellow book.”

Week Four:

Evacuation Prep:  photos.  Get them scanned; at a minimum, get them prioritized and organized to take on short notice.  {More tips are in the detailed list.]

Insurance Prep:  meet with your insurance agent.  Ask questions.  Understand your coverage.

 Let’s all work to be better prepared!

Categories: General Information

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