US Drought Monitor, San Antonio is smack in the middle of what is considered an "Exceptional Drought." According to experts, since weather record-keeping first begain in the 1890's, the last ten months have been the driest EVER recorded in the state of Texas.
For most of us, this means flowers that are slowly dying, a lawn that is now completely beige, a pool that is evaporating at the speed of light, and perhaps a few more critters in your yard or even in your house. For SOME people in central Texas, however, it means that their homes are being obliterated--literally. With the recent high winds and drought conditions, the fires in central Texas have gone virtually unchecked, despite every effort made by emergency personnel there.
Many of the families in the direct path of this out-of-control fire have recounted their heartbreaking stories to local and national news stations. They often have only a few minutes to gather their belongings and the family dog before they have to load into the car and drive away from their home, and everything they own. Family pictures, baby clothes, keepsakes, even furniture--everything that a person works hard for, destroyed by the lick of flames in a matter of minutes. It's truly daunting, and while we all hope and pray that something like this would NEVER affect us personally, the truth is that mother nature is her own beast, and ANYTHING can happen.
According to experts, if a person is ever faced with evacuating their home on short notice, there are a few items that one should focus on when packing their things quickly. Having a "game plan" and knowing where these items are helps to focus a person and allows him to be ready. Some items to consider are:
1. Irreplacable (or hard to replace) documents, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, social security cards, diplomas, or other professional/personal documents.
2. Family pictures. Furniture and clothing can be replaced easily, but the value of pictures can NEVER be paid by any insurance company.
3. Irreplacable (not valuable) items. Your fancy, schmancy, $1000 juicer? Not important--it can be bought again. But your Grandma's buckwheat crock that you inherited years ago? Grab it--no one can every pay you enough money to buy it again.
4. Valuable jewelry that isn't insured. Try to gather up any gold, diamonds, or precious stones that you may have. Jewelry is often not covered by a regular home owners policy, so if destroyed, your insurance company may not be able to replace it.
5. Of course, things you need for your immediate needs--your wallet, credit cards, insurance information, and enough clean clothing to get you through a few days at least.
The single most important thing to remember through any catastrophe is that things are just THINGS and can easily be replaced. If your loved ones are safe, that's all that truly matters in the end. That being said, every single home owner should take a moment to review their homeowners policy. Look it over, and make sure that your policy is up to date. Make sure that you have a reliable insurance agent that you trust, and make sure that your home and valuables are covered in ANY event. Are you a renter? Make sure that you have an up-to-date renters policy, as well. Your belongings need to be protected in the event of a catastrophe that touches your residence.
If you have any questions, or need the name of a great agent, please give us a call today! 210-566-6355