Friday, September 30, 2011

A NOTE FROM TONI ATKINS - October 2011

Last month’s massive power outage was another example of the fact that despite frequent reminders, we still often fail to fully prepare for disaster.  Many of us ended up hunting for the flashlight and batteries, regretting that we didn’t have drinking water or food on hand, or just frustrated because cell phone overload prevented us from locating loved ones.  If the blackout has renewed your attention to disaster preparedness, please contact my San Diego office at 619-645-3090 to request our publication Will You Be Prepared When Disaster Hits?  It can assist you with your preparations.

In recognition of National Fire Prevention Week, October 9 – 15, this is also a good time to talk about a different kind of disaster preparedness – fire prevention.

In most parts of the country, summer is the season of highest fire danger, but -- as San Diegans know from terrible experience -- our wildfires occur in the autumn months, when Santa Ana winds can blow 50-100 miles per hour. If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to take some simple steps to greatly increase the chances of your home surviving a wildfire.  For tips on protecting your home and your family, please contact my San Diego office and request our brochure, Protecting Your Home From Brush Fires. We also can send you helpful information on earthquake preparedness and a fire prevention activity book for kids.

Fires that begin inside the home also pose great risk.  Have a family evacuation plan and practice it.  Roughly two-thirds of home fire deaths happen in homes without smoke alarms or because of non-working alarms.  Test alarm batteries monthly and, on November 6, when we “Fall Back” at the end of Daylight Savings Time, replace the battery with a new one.  And another recent reminder --  in a blackout, be extra careful about the hazard presented by using multiple candles to light your home.

Prevention can turn a disaster into a mere inconvenience.  Please do not hesitate to call my San Diego office if we can assist you in any way.

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