“Just how bad will California's summer wildfire season be?,” asked a recent newspaper headline. Thanks to drought conditions, climate change, and a long hot summer, the answer is potentially devastating.
And California is by no means the only state affected. According to a report released in June of this year, fire activity has already begun increasing this year across the Southwest and drought conditions continue to plague the West, the Plains, Texas, and even parts of Hawaii. The result is an “above normal” significant fire potential forecast stretching into the fall months for affected areas.
As an insurance agent or broker, making sure your p&c insurance clients are covered in the event of a catastrophic fire is your first job. But recovery only matters if those impacted survive the wreckage. Helping your clients prepare for a worst-case scenario during Wildfire Season is not necessarily expected, but it’s sure to provide helpful information at a minimum. It’s also a great way to deepen your relationships and, hopefully, help enrich your customer experience.
Here, we offer disaster preparedness tips for you to share with your p&c insurance clients, be it through an automated email, a blog on your website, or as a direct mail marketing piece.
Make An Evacuation Plan
The first step in your evacuation plan is to make sure you have plenty of warning, with as much advance notice as possible. The National Weather Service offers alerts, as do many communities in fire-prone areas.
If you live in one of them, know your evacuation routes and shelter locations. Additionally, a trial run or two with family members and pets in tow can prove to be a lifesaver should you be forced to flee to safety. Make sure you have at least a half tank of gas at all times in your vehicles, and also reinforce the plan with family members, including kids.
Lastly, if you haven’t already downloaded the Fema app, do it today. It can be literal lifesaver during a wildfire emergency.
Keep Personal Documents in a Safe Place
Ideally most of your personal documents are stored digitally in a secure place, but items you will want to have in hand should you need to evacuate include:
- Driver’s License and state-issued IDs for everyone in the family who has been issued one
- Insurance policies for home and vehicles
- Critical medical prescriptions
- Birth certificates
- Social Security Cards
- Debit/Credit Cards
- Bank account numbers
- Financial records/tax returns
- Vehicle registrations
- Pet vaccination records
Mitigate Risks Around the House
You can’t stop a wildfire, but you can prepare to keep the damage to a minimum as much as possible. Opt for fire-resistant materials when building, renovating, or repairing your home, and regularly clear any flammable or dead vegetation in the areas that surround it. Likewise, trim any overhanging tree branches near porches, decks, and your home itself, and make sure emergency responders have access and visibility to your home via a cleared pathway and clearly marked street numbers.
Load Vehicles with Survival Supplies
Should you need to evacuate, you’ll want to make your vehicles are ready to hit the road. Make sure your vehicle’s trunk and glove compartment is stocked with:
- A gallon of drinking water for everyone in your household
- Non-perishable snacks such as jerky, granola bars, and dried nuts
- Non-perishable pet treats
- First aid kit
- Blankets or sleeping bags for everyone in your family
- Jumper cables
- Extra chargers for mobile devices
- Emergency battery-operated lighting
- Extra batteries
- Reflective triangles and/or vests
- Fire extinguisher
- Cat litter (to help you gain traction if needed)
- Dust masks
- Whistles for everyone in the family (should you be separated, lose cell coverage, or need to attract emergency responders to your location)
- A collapsible shovel and pocket multi-tool
- Local maps marked with evacuation routes
Keep a Go Kit Handy
Disaster supplies in the form of a go kit will prove indispensable during an evacuation, when you may have hours or you may only have minutes to escape harm from a wildfire. Should you need to grab and go, these disaster supplies can help your family survive the worst:
- Extra water and enough non-perishable food items to last several days
- Pet supplies (food, food and water bowls, ID, carriers)
- A hand-held can opener
- Mess kits with plates, utensils, napkins, and moist towelettes
- An extra cell phone with back-up charger
- Personal hygiene items
- Hand sanitizer and wipes
- Baby supplies (formula, diapers, etc.)
- 3-5 changes of climate-appropriate clothing and shoes
- Prescription and OTC drugs
- Extra eyeglasses, contact lens, and cleaning solution
- Non-digital entertainment items (books, coloring books and crayons, puzzle and activity books, etc.)
Providing you with p&c marketing content to share out to your customers is just one way AgentCubed can help you grow your business. Our powerful platform is designed to help you achieve growth while handling the hurdles that come with operating an insurance agency. To learn more about how AgentCubed can help accelerate your digital journey, book a demo with one of our consultants today.