Extra Points: Family and Friends Plan

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This is Part 1 of a four part series this month in honor of National Preparedness Month. While this may not seem to be the sexiest of topics, you need look no further than the wreckage left by Hurricane Harvey to understand the life and death issues faced by you, your family, and your business.

Week 1 focuses on making a plan for yourself, your family, and your friends. Step 1 is to create a written emergency plan that responds to evacuation from your home; staging areas to meet; first aid and medications; food and clean water supplies; how to shut off water and electricity; emergency power and connectivity, and pets (to name just a few).

Step 2 is to assure your insurance protection is in place and accessible. Do you need earthquake or flood insurance? Note that about 80% of homeowners affected by Harvey did not have flood insurance (CNBC article). Flood insurance programs have a 30 day waiting period after you make payment…like a time deductible. With winter coming, now is the time to get it if you are in any path of rivers, lakes or other water tables. No matter what, you must know how your insurance will respond to crisis and have Internet access to a copy of your policy.

Step 3 is to plan financially for a disaster. I recommend you have at least $300 of cash in your house at all times. This is even hard for me becasue it’s easy to rob from yourself with the”promise” of putting it back! However, in an emergency, access to your bank or other funds may be delayed. Cash still works to buy food!

Step 4 is to once a year (now would be good), practice your plan. We all went through fire drills in grade school to know what to do in case of a fire, right? Why my school always chose the days it rained is curious to me, but disaster rarely sends advance notice.

Step 5 is to share with your family and friends so they know how to contact you and can build their own emergency plan and kit. Communication is essential for saving lives; make sure your most important network connection is strong.

Next week, we focus on planning to help your neighborhood and community. Being “safe out there” is incumbent on planning ahead.

P.S. Follow me on Facebook. This month, I will be doing a Facebook Live segment on how to pack a “go bag” in case you must evacuate your home and one that you should keep at work in case you get stuck and can’t make it home for days.

Quote of the Week:

”Luck is a very thin wire between survival and disaster, and not many people can keep their balance on it.”

~ Hunter S. Thompson (American Journalist)

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Do you need help creating an emergency crisis plan for your business or family? Call me and let’s schedule a meeting to talk. The time to act is before you need it. Email me at dan@danweedin.com


‘Til the Landslide Brought Me Down…

landslideThese lyrics from Stevie Nicks are from her popular song, “Landslide.” For the people living in Coupeville, WA ( near my hometown of Oak Harbor), these are all too frighteningly real.

Houses perched atop a beautiful bluff overlooking the water are now dangling perilously over the edge after a landslide tore apart the hillside. The topic of insurance has been raised as many of these homes find themselves uninsured due to a common exclusion that isn’t fully understood by the average insurance buyer.

Everyone knows about earthquake insurance and they know it’s excluded on the homeowners policy. If you live in an area that needs it, you will pay a hefty price tag to carry the coverage. Many go without it for natural reasons. Newer homes built out of frame and not in a slide area are low risk. Why pay a lot of money on insurance when the chance of ever needing it is so low and the cost of the insurance and your deductible are so high? In many cases, that is a valid argument and I have often recommended a client NOT purchase the coverage because I didn’t see a huge exposure.

That is different for these poor folks with a house on the edge…

You see, the exclusion in your homeowners policy does not say “Earthquake.” It says, “Earth Movement.” On the standard homeowners policy, insurance carriers are not going to pay for damage done by either earthquake or earth movement. Earth movement is much more likely. Heavy rains cause earth movement. Changing conditions cause earth movement. Natural disasters (other than earthquake) cause earth movement. And, because many of these folks are not worried about earthquake, they eschew the coverage called “earth movement.”

Here is the deal…

If you own a home near or on a bluff, hillside, cliff, or ledge, you need to purchase earthquake insurance. Your real risk is more likely to be earth movement and this insurance policy picks that up, too. Take a look at your property. If you believe your house can be damaged by some earth movement because the direction it moves causes it to fall off the side of the word, it’s in your best interest to buy the coverage. Don’t be tricked by the mane of the policy. Earthquake insurance protects for more than just the big shaker. It protects the value of your home if it slip slides away.

My heat goes out to these folks, whether they have insurance coverage or not. We pray that the houses avoid going down the hillside. For those of you watching from afar, use it as a lesson. Look at your home and the concern related to earth movement. If you are even at all worried, you need to talk with your insurance agent and find out what the cost is. It may end up being the best insurance you ever buy.

© 2013 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved