Wildfires: Small Business – Big Hearts

Wildfires: Small Business – Big Hearts

As I woke again this morning to the smoky haze covering San Francisco, I am reminded of my many friends in Napa and Santa Rosa affected by the current spate of wildfires that popped up suddenly Sunday night. My best wishes for their safety and security go out to all those affected. It is truly hard to imagine that Silverado Country Club had just hosted a professional golf tournament that finished Sunday afternoon and mere hours later it was evacuated in a panicked rush.

Last night I was shown an email that was sent by a successful business owner whose Napa business escaped the fire but several of his employee’s home did not. The email was succinct and conveyed what I believe to personify the selflessness and indeed the fortitude that is true spirit of the entrepreneur who makes up the backbone of this country. He simply stated that the business was safe, they were going to focus on employees first, then the clients, then the community. He then offered a spot in his personal home and in his vacation home to employees or their friends affected by the fire. His desire as a business owner to keep the wheels of commerce moving at all costs is reflected in his leadership and courage. I have no doubt he will be successful in helping his employees, his clients and his community by his efforts.

I was moved by the afore mentioned email and felt compelled to write about it in my firm’s blog today. The sudden spate of wildfires, hurricanes and other disasters does remind me how fragile our lives are and that one moment we can be enjoying life and the next minute all that we know can be taken from us. The lesson that can be learned from this is that we should be prepared for emergencies. Not just for our personal safety but the safety of our personal records as well. I’m certain that many people did not have backup copies of very vital documents like their estate plan, passports, birth certificates, deeds, etc. online or in alternate storage units. When their houses went up in flames, sadly so did their personal records.  With today’s digitization technology there is little excuse for not getting records stored online as it is affordable, safe and when the time comes, very convenient to retrieve.

Online storage services such as Box & Dropbox are either free or inexpensive for an annual subscription. Many of my clients have access to a free online vault through our emoney advisor service as well. The point is that there are lots of ways to get your important documents online and stored safely for when you need them. Make sure other people you know and trust know how to access these copies in case something happens to you.

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Risley Sams

Risley Sams

Risley Sams, CFP®, MBA, CPWA®, is the Founder and President of RHS Financial. He is responsible for the future of the firm and the strategic services that we deliver.