As a company that lost its headquarters building and nearly all its records in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company has first-hand experience in natural disasters.
For this reason, this property and casualty insurer — which repaid all of its claims in the 1906 disaster and is a provider in catastrophe response — is commemorating the 100-year anniversary of the earthquake and fire with initiatives to raise awareness of the need for disaster preparedness.
Fireman’s Fund is sponsoring a historic exhibition of photographs taken in 1906 now on display at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. 1906 Earthquake: A Disaster in Pictures documents the damage the earthquake and fire caused. The exhibit of 100 photographs, on view through May 30, includes an image from the archive of Fireman’s Fund, showing the company’s headquarters building in flames. This image is captured on a commemorative postcard given to all museum visitors that provides consumer tips on disaster preparedness.
In addition, the company has launched a disaster preparedness Web site that offers advice for homeowners and businesses. The site personalizes lessons learned from recent natural disasters. Victims of California earthquakes and Hurricane Katrina describe how they coped and how the event caused them to think differently about preparedness. This information is available at www.firemansfund.com/preparedness.
Supplementing this Web initiative, Fireman’s Fund is also distributing disaster preparedness materials throughout the year to its agents and policyholders nationwide.
“The 1906 earthquake centennial and the natural disasters of the last two years — including the tsunami in Southeast Asia and Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast — are powerful reminders of the need for both individuals and businesses to plan for a catastrophic event,” said Joseph Beneducci, president and chief operating officer, Fireman’s Fund.
The company is also promoting greater disaster preparedness through its on-going philanthropic program, Fireman’s Fund Heritage which supports firefighters for safer communities. The company’s name derives from its founding social mission to contribute a portion of its profits to support firefighters. That mission is realized today through millions of dollars in Heritage grants to local fire departments across the country for equipment, training and fire safety and prevention programs.
In 2004 and 2005, Fireman’s Fund awarded major grants to support citizen’s emergency response training programs in three California cities.
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