Burning wooden house at night. Bright orange flames and dense smWildfire season is here once again. And after last year’s devastating fires in California and throughout the West, many experts worry that continued drought conditions will lead to another year of heightened risk and high levels of destruction.

Sites throughout California and other states monitored by fire officials, for example, are at or near record levels of dryness. Fuel moisture — the amount of water inside a living plant — “is the lowest that we’ve recorded at these sites since 2013,” Craig Clements, director of the Wildfire Interdisciplinary Research Center at San Jose State University told NPR. “It’s indicative of very dangerous conditions coming into this summer.”

There’s a risk of fire danger in all states. And fire officials say in addition, fire season started earlier this year — in May. The National Interagency Fire Center’s National Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlook points to warmer and drier than normal conditions throughout the West — conditions expected to persist through fall.

Are you prepared? Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself, your home and your business:

Revisit your insurance coverage. Homeowner’s and business insurance generally covers damage from fires, including wildfires, up to the policy’s monetary limits, unless the policyholder intentionally sets their home on fire. Policies vary, but any outbuildings or unattached structures on your property may also be covered, up to certain limits.

Think about flood insurance. Fire-damaged areas are much more susceptible to flooding because of the lack of vegetation and fire-damaged soil. While fires are covered under homeowner’s policies, flooding is not. You must purchase flood insurance for your home and business to be covered, and there’s typically a 30-day waiting period for all flood policies.

Take defensive measures. Cleaning up dry material and creating fire breaks on your property can make a huge difference. Clear a natural firebreak between your home/business and surrounding trees, brush and uncut fields. Here’s some information from the Federal Emergency Management Agency on how to protect yourself and your home, before, during and even after, a wildfire.


We’ve all been there – bumper to bumper, facing seemingly endless brake lights. Whether you live in a small town or a big city, gridlock can happen just about everywhere. And it often happens when you’re trying to get somewhere fast. So how can you stay safe when traffic is at its worst? Here are some tips that can help:


Plan ahead: If possible, allow extra time for driving when traffic, for whatever reason, is expected to be heavy. You will be less likely to tailgate, weave across lanes of traffic, or vent frustration on other drivers when you aren’t pressed for time. Again, your smartphone can be a useful tool to help you find the best route based on traffic conditions.


Don’t follow too closely: Ever heard of the three-second rule? When the vehicle in front of you passes a stationary object, begin counting. You should reach the same object no sooner than three seconds after the vehicle in front of you. (Four or five seconds is even better!) It’s tempting to tailgate when traffic is moving slowly so that other drivers can’t slip in front of you. But following too closely to other vehicles remains a top source of accidents nationwide, at all times of the year.


Minimize distractions: If you plan to drive on congested streets, make sure that your attention is on the road. Avoid talking on a cell phone, sending text messages, eating messy foods, or putting on makeup in the car. Your chances of being involved in a crash will drop considerably by taking those steps. Multitasking behind the wheel dramatically increases your chances of an accident.


Avoid rubbernecking: Just as there are distractions inside a vehicle, there can be distractions outside a vehicle as well. Don’t let your attention wander when passing a crash scene or anything else that’s happening outside your car.


Relax: Don’t take unnecessary risks to shorten your commute by a few minutes. You could end up spending a lot more time beside the road. Instead, take it easy, be courteous, and know that you’ll get to your destination safer and less stressed.


At Accurate Protection, we offer commercial auto insurance — and so much more. We work directly with our clients, helping them to identify risks unique to their organizations and providing a plan for reducing or eliminating exposure. Learn more about us on our website:https://accurateprotection.com/.