Wildfires like the Chalk Mountain Fire in Somervell County and the Palo Pinto County fire spread quickly and can reach hundreds of acres in a matter of hours.
Natural disasters go beyond wildfires in Texas. Flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, hail storms, sink holes, erosion and drought all take place throughout the Lone Star State.
While different insurance companies have varying policy coverage on areas prone to certain natural disasters, all homeowners should have an evacuation plan ready in case of emergency.
How should I prepare before a natural disaster?
Texas-based Allstate Insurance Agent Mark Tucker said it’s important for homeowners to check with their insurance agents about what their policy covers ahead of time. He recommends doing a comprehensive review on insurance coverage at least once a year to keep it updated.
Another tip Tucker gives homeowners is to take a home inventory so damaged or destroyed items can be replaced. One way to do a home inventory is by taking a video of your belongings. Tucker advises having cabinet doors open during the video so nothing is missed.
Homeowners are also encouraged to keep an emergency kit prepared and to have an evacuation plan that includes a meeting spot and updated contact information for friends and family members.
What should I include in my emergency kit?
The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends keeping the following items in a basic disaster supplies kit:
- Water, one gallon per person for at least three days
- Food, at least a three-day supply
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
- Battery powered or hand-crank radio
- First-aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Dust mask to filter contaminated air
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape, for shelter purposes
Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties
Manual can opener for food
Tucker also recommends having any necessary medication ready and to keep pets in mind when preparing an evacuation pack.
What happens after the natural disaster is over?
If your insurance policy covers specific damage from wildfires, a claim can be filed.
Insurance companies often offer personal property coverage. In the case of personal property damage, Allstate suggests filing a proof of loss claim.
Receipts, photos, bank statements, online registrations all count toward acceptable documents when filing a proof of loss claim.