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Farmers Insurance Group has once again partnered with members of the fire service to help communities prepare for natural disasters. In 2008, Farmers joined forces with the San Miguel Fire Protection District to distribute "Before the Threat" disaster preparedness packages to 10,500 homeowners in an area that is at high risk for wildfires.

The package included a "Before the Threat" DVD that gives homeowners information on how they should prepare for natural disasters such as fires, floods, earthquakes, storms or terrorist attacks. The DVD stresses the importance of having critical information and paperwork readily available in a central location so that in the event of an emergency, residents will be able to easily take this with them. Suggested items include medication, doctors' phone numbers, insurance papers, trust deeds, passports and identification.

Also included in the kit is a home inventory software program entitled, "Know Your Stuff," which enables homeowners to catalog all of their belongings and attach photographs. This software can help both in purchasing insurance and in filing claims in the event of a loss. Charles Dabelgott, from Farmers Insurance, says of the software, "We request that people put their important paperwork and the inventory of their home in safety deposit boxes or keep them offsite, or at least keep them in a location so that when a fire does happen it can be easily grabbed and put in their car."

The 2008 distribution campaign was focused on the area in San Diego County served by the San Miguel Fire Protection District which is at high risk for wildfires. In 2003, the Cedar Fire destroyed thousands of homes and properties in Eastern San Diego County, and in 2007 the Harris and Witch Wildfires also did extensive damage in the area. Teams of Farmers Insurance Agents, San Miguel Firefighters and Explorers, and community volunteers distributed the packages within two days to all residents of the area. According to San Miguel's Former Fire Chief Augie Ghio, Farmers Insurance paid for the entire project at a cost of $25,000. Ghio stated, "Farmers did everything. We just provided the spirit, the enthusiasm and some of the people to get it done."

Building on the success of the campaign, Farmers Insurance has teamed with the San Diego Office of Emergency Services to distribute the preparedness package to 400,000 homes throughout San Diego County in 2009. Former Fire Chief Ghio feels that although the initial distributions are to areas that are at risk for wildfires, the kit would also be helpful to homeowners throughout the United States, saying, "This year's focus was mostly on wildfires, urban interface preparedness and readiness with those target audiences. But really this needs to go more to [communities with] all hazards and all risks: fire, flood, earthquake, terrorism. It can apply to all those venues and more, man-made or natural disasters."

Before The Threat Part 2

Before The Threat Part 3

Farmers Insurance Partners With San Miguel Fire Protection District To Assist Residents With Disaster Preparedness

Before The Threat Part

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For More Preparedness Information Visit San Diego County Information Pages Click Here

Before The Threat