If you are one of nearly three-quarter of a million homeowners in the western U.S., your home may be at high risk of damage from wildfire, according to a story by Property Casualty 360. So what happens if you are one of these potentially unlucky homeowners? There are certain steps you can take to prepare for the possibility of a wildfire that will potentially minimize damage to your home. In a worst-case scenario, there are other preparations for times you may need to evacuate and leave the fate of your home to Mother Nature.
According to the article by Property Casualty 360, the homes that are most vulnerable to wildfires tend to be those that are located in areas where the wildland meets urban development. With the growing urban sprawl, more and more former wildland areas are being encroached upon by residential development. Unfortunately, this development is putting more homeowners in the high-risk areas. The Los Angeles area has more than 29,000 homes in areas considered to be at high risk or very high risk, making it the largest number in any U.S. city.
As a homeowner in these areas, it can be very disconcerting to know that you are in the path of wildfires that can devastate your home. In a prior blog post, we discussed some of the most important information in wildfire preparedness. As dry, hot autumn winds start to kick up in the West, this is an important time to implement your preventative measures. Make sure you cut back and remove brush surrounding your home. The summer growth will soon turn dry and act as fuel for fires. By removing the brush surrounding your home, you can help keep fires at bay.
Unfortunately, even with the best preventative measures, a raging wildfire will stop for nothing. If you are asked by the authorities to evacuate your home, be prepared to do so as quickly as possible. If you’re residing in a potential wildfire area, you should always be ready for this possibility by having important documents stored electronically offsite as we suggested in a prior blog post. Without needing to scramble for documents, you can concentrate on collecting the things you really need to take with you, such as clothes and pets. Items that can be easily replicated in an electronic format should not slow you down during an evacuation.
Remember to always have your home insurance policy in order. While there are seasons that tend to be more prone to wildfires, the generally warm and dry Western U.S. such as Long Beach, San Diego, Fresno, and San Francisco, amongst many others, can be at risk for fires year-round. Therefore, you should not procrastinate when it comes to ensuring that your home insurance policy has the proper values for dwelling and personal property coverage. According to the Property Casualty 360 article, the highest-risk states have seen record-breaking damage in recent years.