Mistakes you don’t want to make if disaster hits

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SCRIPPS RANCH, Calif. – Karen Reimus knows firsthand what the victims of the massive tornado in Oklahoma are going through.

“That’s why I feel so much for those people in Oklahoma,” said Remus.  “What they’re going through is horrible.”

tornado-damageAlmost  10 years ago, the Cedar Fire burned her Scripps Ranch Home to the ground.   She said she was devastated to discover she was underinsured.

“It was like being burned twice,” said Reimus, “first by the wildfire and second by the insurance company.”

Reimus was so upset, she became involved with United Policyholders, a nonprofit organization that educates people about insurance.  She learned the mistake she had made was a common one.

“When disaster hits, underinsurance is one of the most pervasive problems across the country,” said Reimus.

United Policyholders, conducted a survey after the 2007 fire storm in San Diego.

“The statics were mind-boggling,” said Reimus.

The survey revealed 66 percent of the people who lost their homes in the wildfires were underinsured.

“If you blindly rely on your insurance company to insure you to value, you may be in trouble,” said Reimus.  “It’s really important that you do your own homework on what it would cost to replace your home.”

Other ways residents can prepare for a disaster in advance, is to take a look as the county’s SD Emergency Application or its emergency web portal, www.sdcountyemergency.com.  Both can help you put together a preparedness plan, and assist you during an emergency, with updates on shelters, maps and recovery efforts.

Stephen Rea, who is the Assistant Director of the county of San Diego Office of Emergency Services said it is also important that residents make sure they register their cell phones with the county’s alert San Diego system, also known as its reverse 911 system.

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