Archives for wild fires

Last month iMGA committed to making a donation to the American Red Cross of Central Texas fire/disaster relief fund for policies issued during September that met certain criteria. Plus we committed to matching donations made by our agents to the same fund.

Thanks to the generosity and hard work of our great agents, we are happy to announce that we have made a donation of $1,750 to the American Red Cross of Central Texas.

Even better, we know our agents make a difference every day in their community – by being great citizens and providing the right coverage to their clients at competitive prices. We are honored to be associated with them.

We’d be happy to help you find an independent agent near you who represents iMGA.

If you’re an independent agent who would like to offer iMGA’s homeowners, dwelling, vacant, mobile home, umbrella and travel trailer products to your insureds, please complete this form.

As we are seeing all too clearly this Spring, wild fires are a very real risk for Texas Homeowners. More than 840 fires have consumed almost 1.5 million acres just this year (this and other facts to follow throughout this post are provided by the incredible team at the Texas Forest Service).

Fortunately, steps can be taken to prevent and/or limit losses. Property owners taking proactive actions combined with a coordinated state response have saved more than 5,600 structures. Unfortunately another 400 dwellings were not able to be saved, and lives were lost.

If your home is in any area affected by these wild fires, we strongly encourage you to educate yourself on the important steps you can take to protect yourself and your property.

There are many things you can do, but the Top 3 things to do to protect yourself and your property are:

  1. Prepare your property. Keep the area around your house clear of combustible materials, keep your lawn well mowed and shrubs and trees pruned and away from your home.
  2. Prepare your family. Develop and agree on an evacuation plan, including what you’ll do if you’re separated. Have medicines, important documents and irreplaceable memorabilia easily accessible and ready to go if needed.
  3. Leave when it’s time. None of your property is worth the loss of your life. Many wild fire related deaths come from last-minute evacuations. If ordered, leave – don’t delay!

Obviously this is only scratching the surface of what you should know if you’re in an affected area. Use the resources available from the Texas Forest Service, Firewise and the American Red Cross, among others.

And to all the brave firefighters working to save people’s lives and property across Texas – you have our sincere gratitude.

Taking a few important steps can make a huge difference in the threat a wild fire poses to your home.

House Fire With Firefighters

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Ada Be

  1. All combustibles such as firewood, wooden picnic tables, boats and stacked lumber should be kept away from structures.
  2. Clear roof surfaces and gutters regularly to avoid build-up of flammable materials such as leaves and other debris.
  3. Remove branches from trees to a height of 15 feet or more.
  4. LPG tanks should be far enough away from buildings for valves to be shut off in case of fire. Keep area around the tank clear of flammable vegetation.
  5. Store gasoline in an approved safety can away from occupied buildings.
  6. In rural areas, clear a fuel break of at least three times the fuel length around all structures.
  7. Have fire tools handy such as: ladder long enough to reach your roof, shovel, rake and a bucket or two for water.
  8. Place connected garden hoses at all sides of your home for emergency use.

(Source: Texas Forest Service)

Of course nothing is as important as protecting yourself and your family.

Make sure you know the emergency exits from your home and your neighborhood and use them if you are ordered by officials, at all concerned, or in any way threatened by fire.

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