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Are You Prepared For Disaster? Most Californians Say "No"
Published  08/29/2006 | 2006

Poll Finds Californians Unprepared & Unmotivated; Free Inventory Software Offered in Recognition of National Preparedness Month

Are you prepared for disaster? Californians face risks ranging from earthquakes and brushfires to landslides and winter storms, yet they do not consider themselves ready to withstand nature's wrath, a poll has found.

Only 22 percent of Californians consider themselves "very prepared" for a natural disaster, while 39 percent say they "aren't prepared at all" for catastrophe, according to a poll commissioned by the Insurance Information Network of California in partnership with Fireman's Fund Insurance Company.

And while 35 percent of Californians say they are very prepared for wildfire, 45 percent say they are not at all ready for wildfire defense, evacuation or recovery.

"Disaster readiness can take on many forms, from land use planning or brushfire clearance to evacuation planning and financial recovery," said Candysse Miller, IINC's executive director. "Without all of the pieces of the puzzle in place, families and businesses could find it difficult to get back on their feet after a catastrophe."

With September declared as National Preparedness Month, IINC is offering free home inventory software to help Californians with a frequently-overlooked component of disaster preparedness: financial recovery.

The inventory software, which is both PC and Mac compatible, can either be downloaded from the IINC Web site at www.iinc.org or can be ordered in CD format by sending a mailing address and $1 for postage and handling to "Inventory CD" c/o IINC, 900 Wilshire Blvd #1414, Los Angeles, CA 90017.

Home and business owners should also use their inventory to make sure that their insurance is able to meet their current needs. IINC recommends an annual "insurance check-up" to make certain that insurance policies keep up with policyholders' financial recovery needs.

Earthquake and flood damage are typically not covered under standard homeowner insurance and may require a separate policy. Currently, an estimated 13 percent of California homeowners have purchased earthquake insurance, and roughly 254,000 Californians have purchased flood insurance. There are more than 8 million homeowner insurance policies active in California.

IINC is a non-profit, non-lobbying insurance communications association. For more information on this and other issues, please visit the IINC Web site at www.iinc.org.

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