Emergency Prepping: What to do in a Natural Disaster

Member Benefits - August 19, 2021
Collage of destructive California wildfire images

The Caldor Fire is prompting evacuation orders in Northern California.

The Caldor Fire has exploded and is burning over 50,000 acres, forcing thousands of people to evacuate their homes. As of now, the wildfire is 0% contained and endangers multiple northern California communities.

Experts and officials in the areas are warning communities to prepare for an evacuation at any moment’s notice.

It’s critical to be prepared for natural disasters.

Natural disasters can, unfortunately, threaten all of us at any time, and it’s essential you have an emergency plan in case the next disaster is lingering just around the corner.

Here are the most important things to do in preparation for wildfires or other natural disasters:

    • Make an emergency plan. Figure out where you and your family should go if you are forced to evacuate, what you’ll need, and what you need to bring.
    • Pack an emergency pack. Think about what you need to take with you, knowing your home may be at risk for burning down or getting damaged. Make sure you bring food, water and critical personal belongings from your home.
    • Have gas in your car. Since officials are saying to be ready at any moment, make sure you have enough gas to get you and your family out of the area.
    • Review your insurance policy. Now is a good time to take a look at your current coverage and make sure you have the best plan possible. If you’re a renter, make certain you have renter’s insurance, as your landlord’s insurance won’t cover damage to your personal belongings. To ensure you fully understand the terms for your insurance, schedule a consultation with your provider lawyer.
    • Pack essential documents. Make sure to pack and make copies of critical documents like your insurance policies, passports, Social Security numbers (SSN), birth certificates, etc. Store them in a safe place that you can quickly and easily access in case you need to grab and go.

How to respond to damage from natural disasters.

  • Document the damage. Before you do anything, take photos of the damaged property so you can show your insurance company. Don’t discard anything until your insurance company confirms to do so.
  • Talk to your insurance company about repairs. Before hiring a contractor, talk to your insurance and utility providers. If you do end up hiring a contractor, make sure you have your provider lawyer review the contract before you sign.
  • Communicate with your accounts. Make sure your banks and other accounts know of your situation and document the conversations you have with them about late payments, etc.
  • File for disaster relief as soon as possible. There are many programs created to assist families in times like this. Select a program, apply as soon as possible, and let your provider lawyer know if you have any questions.

We are here to assist you with any legal services needed.

If you’re facing the California wildfires, our hearts go out to you and your family. Unfortunately, natural disasters will continue to threaten the lives and homes of people everywhere at any given moment.

Whether it’s a wildfire, tornado, earthquake, hurricane, etc., your LegalShield provider lawyer can help you navigate your personal legal issues. From reviewing your insurance policy to answering questions about contracts, we are here to help in any way we can.

Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. d/b/a LegalShield (“LegalShield”) provides access to legal services offered by a network of provider law firms to LegalShield members through membership-based participation. Neither LegalShield nor its officers, employees or sales associates directly or indirectly provide legal services, representation or advice. This is meant to provide general information and is not intended to provide legal advice, render an opinion, or provide any specific recommendations. If you are a LegalShield member, please contact your provider law firm for legal advice or assistance.