Wildfires have devastated California’s forests once again. This frequency is causing homeowners to prepare their homes and their families for the worst. If you live in an area prone to this natural disaster, here are some steps to take in order to keep your property and yourself safe. Before the Fire: It is highly encouraged to clear any debris or dry matter around your home in order to limit fuel for spreading fires. Make sure to:
- Remove dried leaves and pine needles.
- Remove any vines that are on the side of the property.
- Have enough garden hose available to reach any part of the property and make the hose easily accessible to rescue teams/firefighters.
It is also encouraged to build a safety plan with family. Make sure all family members are aware of evacuation routes, meeting spots, and emergency procedures should the worst happen. This can lessen stress when evacuating and further help designated drivers to be more aware of their surroundings. It is also recommended to create an emergency safety kit should you be displaced from the property for more than a day. After the Fire: If you were injured during the wildfire, seek help as soon as you can. While minor burns can be treated by some first aid kits or basic medical supplies, for more severe burns, it is recommended to seek professional help. You can file an insurance claim due to injury during a natural disaster, so prepare any documentation necessary. While it will be tempting to return to the property as soon as possible, resist the urge and wait until it is safe or the all clear has been given for your area. Once you have access to the property, document any damage and contact your insurance company immediately.
If you’re having trouble pushing a claim through, reach out to an attorney for assistance. Arata, Swingle, Van Egmond and Goodwin can help you with your personal injury claims after a natural disaster. The last thing you need during such a trying time is getting the run around on your claims. Let us help ease the stress so you can focus on your personal healing.