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Preparing for Natural Disasters

By Brooke Winslow - June 19, 2020

As wildfires continue to grow in Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico we wanted to offer useful information about what you can do to prepare for natural disasters. Being prepared before a disaster strikes can help keep you and your property safe. In part, due to the current COVID – 19 crisis, evacuation shelters are expected to reach capacity rapidly.  Social distancing guidelines are also likely to impact shelter capacities.


A flood and the resulting water damage to your home, office or manufacturing facility can happen at any time.  History tells us that it is very difficult to determine where or when a flood is likely to occur.  They can strike at any time.   Purchasing flood insurance is one strategy should discuss with your agent or broker. Below are other ways to manage and mitigate flood or water related damages.
  • First, determine in you are in a flood zone
  • Elevate or move valuable personal property in basements or below grade
  • Check the integrity of your roof
  • Make sure gutters and downspouts are clear of debris and fully functioning
  • Remove potential hazards from your property such as dead trees or limbs


Depending on your location, you may be at a higher risk for wildfires. Below is a checklist to minimize the risk of a wildfire damages to your home or business:
  • Clear the perimeter of your home or business of excess vegetation
  • Keep waste in bags and do not burn on your premises
  • Trim dead tree limbs that overhang the roof
  • Remove vines from sides of your structures
  • Store stacked wood at least 100 feet away from premises

General Recommendations

Below are few ways to be ready for natural disasters:
  • Keep important documents in a safe easily accessible place
  • Make an inventory of all personal property within your home or business.
  • Ask your agent or broker to retain a copy of the inventory - update annually
  • Pre-pack an emergency "to go" bag with common necessities
  • Set up a specific meeting place for family members in the event you are unexpectedly separated
  • Monitor news and local weather notifications for evacuation notices or alerts
  • Evacuate when told to do so – do not wait until the last minute
For more tips on how to prepare for a natural disaster, reach out to your broker and insurance company loss control representative for recommendations that are specific to your situation. It is in your and your insurance companies' best interest to proactively manage and minimize the risks that accompany natural disasters. You can also find a more detailed checklist here.