Though Californians live in a beautiful part of the country, we also have fires, earthquakes, and mudslides. After the fires in Santa Rosa in 2017, three thousand homes were lost. Just recently, many Contra Costa residents felt the magnitude 4.3 earthquake about 7.5 miles east of Blackhawk. With that in mind, we all should take this opportunity to take a look at our emergency plans.
Luckily, there are a lot of helpful guides for keeping you and your home safe in an emergency. For example, the National Safety Council provides guides on a variety of natural disasters, as does the Red Cross. Here are NSC’s tips for any disaster:
- Have a family communication plan in place; all members of the family should review and practice the plan
- Have all family members’ and other important phone numbers written down or memorized
- Have an emergency kit in your car and at least three days of food and water at home
- Be sure to store all important documents – birth certificates, insurance policies, etc. – in a fire-proof safe or safety deposit box
- Assign one family member the responsibility of learning first aid and CPR
- Know how to shut off utilities
How can I protect my home?
In addition to having enough homeowner’s insurance and making your home secure as possible, one of the most important steps is to create a home inventory. Preparing an inventory after a loss for taxes or insurance is challenging and painful. Most people do not collect their full benefits, because they do not remember everything they owned.
You can use this spreadsheet to tally all of the inventory in your home. It includes almost everything you might find in a home. This way, if disaster strikes, you will have taken an important step towards recovery.