Protecting your property

There is a lot that you can do to be prepared for an Emergency.
The City of Renton, like all communities in the Puget Sound region, is susceptible to any number of natural or man-made disasters. These include earthquake, fire, flood or other technical disasters. During the first 72 hours of a major incident, City services may be stretched to their limits and resources will be directed to locations where the need is the greatest.
During a disaster such as a major windstorm, flooding, or earthquake, all official radio communication channels within the City could potentially be jammed with emergency traffic. Recognizing the uncertain nature of emergency communications, the Renton Fire and Emergency Services Department coordinates a group of amateur radio operators that help the City during emergencies.
The City of Renton does have an Emergency Response Plan in place to provide for recovery after a disaster; however, these plans take time to implement and individuals and families need to develop a degree of self-reliance for the first 72 hours. To help prepare for a disaster, the City of Renton encourages citizens to:
Assemble a Disaster Supply Kit
Determine a central contact (preferably out of state)
Learn CPR and First Aid
Determine a central meeting point outside your home
Find out how to shut off the water, gas, and electricity
Attend an Earthquake/Disaster Preparedness Class
Develop a Family Emergency Preparedness Plan
Avoid Chimney Related Hazards
Other Resources that can help you prepair is the Disaster Preparation Handbook published by the Washington State Emergency Management Division and the Department of Health.
Visit King County's Personal Preparedness Website to learn how to develop a family disaster plan, what to include in your disaster kit, and what is needed to shelter-in-place. Whether it be at home, school, work, or when you're outside, Be Prepared!
Look for additional emergency-related information at the Washington State Department of Emergency Management. is a common sense framework designed to launch a process of learning about citizen preparedness. One of the primary mandates of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is to educate the public, on a continuing basis, about how to be prepared in case of a national emergency.
If you are interested in obtaining any booklets or specific information, please contact the Fire Department at 425.430.7027 or send email.

But what about your property. It is your biggest investment.
While it's difficult to predict when a natural disaster might strike -- and what kind of damage it could cause -- you can take steps to protect your home and your belongings. Money magazine offers these "before and after" financial tips to consider:
Before Disaster Strikes:
Update your homeowners insurance policy. Be sure to include any recent renovations or improvements.
Consider buying a replacement-cost policy rather than an actual-cash-value policy, so that you'll be compensated for the amount it costs you to replace your belongings.
Create an inventory of your household items. One way is to use a video recorder and narrate as you go, noting specific details such as serial numbers. Or, take still photographs and make a list. Make sure to store these items and other important documents in a water- and fire-proof container or safe-deposit box.
In The Aftermath:
Contact your insurance company immediately, even if you're not sure if your policy covers the type of damage you've suffered.
If you're ready to clean up but concerned about moving anything before the insurance adjuster shows up, take pictures first.
Save all receipts -- even for incidental costs like gas and meals -- related to the disaster.
Before you bring in a contractor to rebuild or repair, you'd be wise to get several bids in writing. Also, Money advises making sure the job has been completed to your satisfaction before you pay the total bill.
If your home is uninhabitable, have utilities (water, gas, electricity) and phone service stopped, and contact creditors immediately if you think you'll have trouble paying your bills.
You may be able to take advantage of available tax breaks for losses suffered; consult your insurance representative and/or financial or tax advisor about your specific situation.

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