PG&E has put Californians on notice to prepare for pre-emptive power outages in an attempt to prevent wildfires. This post addresses what you can do to mitigate losses due to an outage, as well as safety information on generators and general emergency preparedness.
Check with your insurance company to see if they will cover food spoilage due to loss of refrigeration. Some insurance companies are now stating they will cover these types of losses, while others hold the position that they would not cover food loss due to a planned or pre-emptive power outage. This reluctance on the insurers’ part makes the repeated PG&E outages all the more frustrating for those affected, as they are incurring huge food-related expenses in addition to the inconvenience of homes and businesses gone dark.
Since it’s possible insurance won’t cover losses of food or medicine in a planned outage, it’s wise to prepare your home and office. The videos and articles below can help.
- What should you include in an emergency kit? How much water do you need to stow away for each person? Learn how to build a survival kit.
- Generators are an important power backup for hospitals and homes. Be sure you understand their potential dangers. This video offers safety tips for storing fuel and avoiding electrical hazards.
- Here are some tips for keeping food cold if and when your fridge and freezer lose power.
- The USDA has a detailed graphic and guidelines for preparing your food for a power outage.
In addition to the expert advice above, here’s a tip of my own: JLFranklin Wealth Planning clients are encouraged to upload personal documents to the Personal Storage folder of your ShareFile portal, including a list of your home’s contents, passport scans, insurance policies, and prescriptions. This action won’t help keep your food fresh if the power goes out, but it may give you peace of mind to know that you can account for your possessions, document coverage, and expedite medication refills should you suffer a long outage or other emergency.
This year’s fire season is just about over, but we are all dealing with the aftereffects of the last three years of wildfires. Like the rest of us, the insurance industry is adjusting to the new normal in California. Homeowners insurance in high fire risk areas may be difficult or impossible to obtain, and carriers are not renewing in many of these places. A skilled insurance broker may be able to help. Let us know if you would like a referral.
With thanks to Diana Robinson, Asero Insurance Services.