California Wildfires

Have You Been Impacted by the California Wildfires? Let Us Know.
If you need any help, please reach out to your banker or call our Client Care Center at (888) 408-0288. We are ready to assist you any way we can.

During and the aftermath of the wildfires in California, we would like to ensure you are aware of the following resources. For the most current information, see the Cal Fire Site.

Red Cross Guide: Picking Up the Pieces After a Fire 
Provides a good checklist on what to do after a fire.

FEMA Guide: After the Fire – Returning to Normal 
This is a very comprehensive guide that dives into financial and insurance issues.

How to Handle Losses or Damage to Your Home

If you have experienced damage or loss to your home, here are the steps you can take to begin the process of rebuilding:

  1. Contact First Republic: We're here to help you and we want to make sure you and your family are safe. Please contact your banker, relationship manager or our Client Care Center at (888) 408-0288. We are ready to assist you any way we can.
  2. Contact your homeowner's insurance company: Please also get in touch with your insurance company as soon as you can. This will start your insurance claims process. Also, immediately after a disaster, many insurance companies will typically provide funds for basic necessities and accommodations.
  3. Questions? The First Republic team is ready and available to help you. If you have specific questions about losses or claims, please contact us at (855) 296-0810 or (415) 296-3132, or e-mail specialservicing@firstrepublic.com

 

Avoid Disaster Fraud 

 

The FBI has provided information about disaster fraud in the aftermath of the wildfires. Disaster fraud is any activity with the purpose to defraud individuals or the government after a natural or man-made catastrophe.  Below are the main types of disaster fraud to be aware of:

 

  1. Contractor and Vendor Fraud – This type of fraud occurs when an individual poses as a contractor or repairman with no intention of actually repairing damages.

  2. Forgery - Commonly forged documents include insurance checks, building permits and receipts for claims submitted to insurance companies.

  3. Price Gouging - Price gouging involves businesses increasing the prices of goods that are in demand or limited in order to make a larger profit.

  4. Charitable Donation Fraud - This involves fraudsters posing as aid organization workers collecting money to assist with disaster relief. 

To learn more about disaster fraud and tips on how to protect yourself, click here.

 

Post-Disaster Security Tips

As residents return to their homes after the devastating wildfires, we’d like to share some safety tips as rebuilding begins in your areas. While law enforcement does not expect to see any increase in safety issues post-wildfires, please keep the following in mind as you return home.

Rebuilding Activity:
When rebuilding begins in the fire-impacted areas, there will be a number of contractors, assessors, insurance adjusters and others present. Criminals often try to use these roles as a guise to break into homes and commit other crimes. Please keep the following in mind:

  • If you are approached for access to your property or to provide your personal information, be sure to ask for and verify identification.  Anyone working in an emergency zone or disaster area should be expecting this type of request.
  • Don’t rely solely on a uniform that a person may be wearing as verification of who they are.
  • If someone does not want to provide identification, call local authorities.

Additional Home Safety Tips:

  • Lock all doors and windows when you leave. Consider locking while you are at home.
  • Close and lock exterior gates if possible. This may not prevent access to your property, but it may make it more obvious should someone try to enter.
  • Ensure that alarms and security cameras are functioning properly. Set them when you leave. If you have a system with a battery backup, assess the condition of the battery and replace if needed.
  • Utilize exterior security lighting.
  • Be mindful of conditions at your home when you leave. Assess if anything has changed upon your return. When you arrive home be aware of your surroundings.
  • Remove items of value from any vehicles parked outside. This includes any packaging or items that look like they could contain something of value.
  • Remove mail as soon as possible after delivery. Consider picking it up at a post office if your schedule prevents pick up contemporaneous with delivery. Also consider installing a locking mailbox.
  • Consider adding a “beware of dog” sign even if you do not have a dog.
  • Ensure your personal technology devices are updated and current.
  • Join your neighborhood watch, and subscribe to NextDoor for community updates and Nixle for emergency alerts.
  • Trust your instincts!  If something does not feel right, it may not be.