Evacuating? Check Your Homeowners’ Policy for Pleasant and Unpleasant Surprises First
Though it’s not really in the news here in the States, Christchurch, NZ is currently being evacuated as wildfires ravage the area. You can follow the updates live, and of course our prayers go out to those affected.
Here in the US, it’s not fire but water that is driving folks from their homes, with the Oroville Dam in CA still under threat.
And then there’s always the possibility of civil unrest and war, necessitating a bug-out to an alternate location.
Regardless of the reason, everyone should be prepared to evacuate if they have to. I am definitely, absolutely setting aside a little time each day to work on evacuation preps. As I mentioned a few days ago, my prepping this year is all around organization, training, and mental preparedness, vs. just buying yet more stuff. I’m “shopping” in my own closet and garage in order to put together an evacuation kit for the family. I recommend to anyone that you do the same, regardless of where you live.
Another thing you should do is check your homeowner’s insurance to see if hotel bills from mandatory evacuation are covered. According to FEMA, some policies do cover living expenses for mandatory evacuation, so you’ll want to know if you’re covered beforehand. You’ll also need to have all your insurance info on-hand with you in case of an evacuation.
You can buy waterproof and fireproof document containers online, and you should also have scans of all your insurance info and important docs on both your smartphone and a cloud backup service. (If you use something like Apple’s Photos app, or Dropbox, you can do both at the same time.)
Finally, it’s important to know that most (all?) home insurance policies do not cover firearms by default. You typically have to add a rider to them that covers your gun collection explicitly. I’m always surprised at how few gun owners know this. Most only find out when they’ve lost their guns and file a claim, only to be told that the guns weren’t covered.
You never know when you’re gonna have to bail. It pays to be ready and know what kind of benefits your homeowners’ policy entitles you to.