How to protect your belongings in severe weather

How to protect your belongings in severe weather

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - An event like a wildfire or severe storm can lead to the loss of or heavy damage to personal belongings.

Sunday's fire inside city limits came close to the metro population.

The threat can leave homeowners asking the question: What happens to my belongings if I'm forced to leave them behind?

"Texas has the most violent weather in the entire world," said spokesperson for the Insurance Council of Texas Mark Hanna.

In all his years in Texas, Hanna says he's seen all types of weather.

"We have tornadoes, we have hail storms, we have ice storms. We have wildfires, that are a lot of times associated with weather. Earthquakes, we have everything but volcanoes," said Hanna.

As more consistent warm weather approaches, wildfires are a major fear for homeowners.

However, local State Farm insurance agent Jason Chafe says fire isn't the only present fear. An additional thing homeowners need to watch for is problems with their foundation.

"When the dry comes in, it's not just the wildfires you worry about," said Chafe. "Is the ground shifting. Are your pipes breaking because the ground shifting because [of] how dry it is."

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When personal belongings are destroyed or damaged, you can feel like you have lost a piece of yourself.

Knowing what you own can help toward making you whole again.

"Have an inventory of your house. If you close your eyes tomorrow and said, 'Hey, in two minutes can you name whats in your home?' I don't even think I could name a room," said Chafe. "So having a video-tape of all your personal belongings just makes the claim process easier."

The wildfires Sunday evening could have been devastating.

Hanna says there were some factors that helped keep the Medical District from burning.

"Luckily you had parking lots, you had streets, you had mowed grass," said Hanna. "I think all of that played an effect."

Metro-area homeowners have those protections.

There are things rural homeowners can do too.

"You don't have high grass up against your home," said Hanna. "You don't have dry weeds, trees that are close to the house. You're having a perimeter that would stop any type of fire. Whether it's a road, a parking lot or whatever. You have to have some type of protection and that will give you protection if you are living out in the rural area or the outskirts of town."

If a natural disaster like a wildfire were to occur, make sure to stay up to date with NewsChannel 10 App and our Weather App for the latest information and whether or not you need to evacuate.

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