"We have found the Disaster Recovery Handbook very informative and helpful in getting through the most traumatic experience in our lifetime"
Roadmap to Preparedness
The Roadmap to Preparedness is an outreach and education program that helps renters, home and small business owners take specific steps to protect their assets and build financial safety nets for disaster resiliency. It is administered by United Policyholders (“UP”), an independent, consumer-focused non-profit that has been a source of trustworthy information and expertise on disaster recovery since 1991. Preparedness services are provided by UP staff and trained volunteers with personal experience and/or professional expertise in insurance, seismic retrofitting, fire prevention, flood and hurricane mitigation, personal finance, and asset protection.
Having the right amount and type of insurance and well-organized records makes a world of difference after a disaster. Our educational materials and tools are drawn from twenty five years of post-disaster Roadmap to Recovery work and from monitoring the insurance marketplace and related public policy and legal matters. We do not accept funding from insurance companies. We do not sell insurance. Our plain-talk consumer-oriented financial guidance and tools help people make good insurance decisions and be more resilient. We share lessons people have learned while using their insurance after a loss. We tap into the expertise of our unique corps of volunteer experts including property/casualty, life, disability, health and auto agents, brokers, lawyers and construction professionals.
Roadmap to Preparedness program services include:
Use our preparedness library to find publications, articles and resources to make sure your insurance safety net is adequate. Our Tip of the Month tackles hot topics in insurance and preparedness. These consumer resources can help you avoid many of the problems we’ve seen in our twenty years helping people with home, business, health, life, disability, and auto insurance claims. We know you want to pay the least for the most. But we also know you want to be covered if something bad happens.
In our over twenty years of working with disaster victims we have seen over and over again how time-consuming and emotionally painful it is for people to prepare the detailed loss inventories that insurers and the IRS require. And, especially after a traumatic loss, it’s impossible to remember everything you had, so most people never collect their full insurance benefits. Anyone with a pre-loss inventory has a huge advantage in the recovery process.
- Home Inventory App: The UPHelp Home Inventory App inventory is a free computer app for phones and tablets that gives you an easy and fast way to document your property and securely store the records. Hopefully, you’ll never need your inventory, but if you do, you’ll be so glad you created it.
- Home Inventory Flashdrive: The UP Home Inventory Preparedness Flash Drive will help you stay one step ahead of Mother Nature by documenting your household belongings before disaster strikes.
- Home Inventory Spreadsheet: Our easy-to-use UP Home Inventory will help you list the contents of every room in your house. We created our inventory tool from the most comprehensive lists that past disaster survivors created and used to get paid in full on their insurance claims. Benefit from lessons that others learned the hard way.
- Evacuation Check List: When told you have to evacuate your home, you may feel overwhelmed on what to take. Along with sentimental items that are irreplaceable, this is a short list of important documents that disaster survivors highly recommend you take, based on their personal experiences.
UP offers workshops and speakers for public and private events aimed at promoting and facilitating disaster preparedness. Our presentations, exercises and materials encourage audience participation and are in plain language and tailored to the local risks in a geographic area. To schedule a workshop in your community, email firstname.lastname@example.org. [Speaker availability is subject to funding and community support]
Use our publications when buying insurance to filter out clever ads and intimidating legalese. Avoid wasting money and the painful and expensive “surprises” people struggle with when the policy they thought would be their safety net turned out to have gaping holes.
- Shop Smart - Tips for Insuring Your Home
- What's UP with Renter's Insurance?
- Renters Insurance Comparison Shopping Guide
- Earthquake Insurance Shopping Guide
For other types of insurance, visit our Buying Tips Library
Watch our Fall 2014 renters insurance outreach campaign featuring Mario Lopez and UP Staff.
Watch our Fall 2015 outreach to East Bay, CA residents on flood damage
Helping the following vulnerable populations through education campaigns and fighting for consumer rights in the legislature and courts.
- Low income populations
- Minority populations
- Victims of climate change
For more information on our advocacy work, visit the Advocacy and Action page.