Earthquake Season?

Fall tends to be the time we think about earthquakes. The Bay Area seems to have lucked out with no recent natural disasters, but let’s not be greedy. Be sure to store in your home or garage at least 1 gallon of water per household member per day in large containers labeled with date. Canned goods and other non-perishable foods should be readily available. Consider having a hand-cranked radio and flashlights with extra batteries on hand. These, among many other household supplies for natural disasters can be obtained at the Disaster Supply Center (formerly Earthquake Supply Center) on Kerner Blvd. in San Rafael. I also suggest keeping a supply of cash and important household papers easily accessible. I have mine stored in a plastic zipper case. It’s a good idea to keep an emergency earthquake kit in each car (these are also available at the Disaster Supply Center). Click here to download an Emergency Supply List.

It’s crucial to have a family emergency plan – make sure your children and family members know of a central meeting spot in case they don’t live with you. Designate an out-of-state friend or relative to be the person everyone contacts to report their whereabouts. Also wise to have an emergency plan for your pets. Better safe than sorry!

Grab and Go Checklist

Katie Jarman's Resources Grab and Go Checklist

If you ever had to evacuate your home quickly, what would you need to grab? READY MARIN, Marin County’s source for emergency preparedness, offers invaluable tips on their website about how to prepare in advance for unexpected emergencies. Click HERE to for a printable, downloadable checklist of items to have on hand in the event of an evacuation.

Emergency Water Supply

Katie Jarman's Resources - Emergency Water Supply

Every household should have an emergency water supply for everyone in their home. Three gallons per person should be enough to cover 3 days.  Keep an extra gallon or two for your pets too.  It’s okay to store water in plastic soda bottles as long as you sterilized them with a little household bleach (no more than 8 drops per gallon should do it).  It’s important to store them in a cool, dark place. Be sure to label each one with the date, and replace every 6 months (you can use the old water in your garden or for other household uses.

In the event of a natural disaster, you will be glad you did this!

Note: The Earthquake Supply Center in San Rafael has larger water storage bins that keep water safe for drinking for up to 5 years. Also, Goodman Building Supply in Mill Valley has a good selection of emergency supplies.


Problems With Mosquitos or Other Pests?

The Mosquito and Vector Control Department is a FREE service of Marin and Sonoma Counties.  They will come to your home and remove yellow jacket nests in the ground for free and advise you on how to control rats or mice.  They also deal with mosquitos, ticks and all kinds of pests. Their website contains a wealth of information, including several downloadable brochures.  Very knowledgeable folks and I’ve called them often.  (800) 231-3236.



Home Insurance Check Up

I recently attended a seminar on insurance and coverage from an agent who has handled claims from the 2017 fires and mud slides.  In Marin County $300 per square foot to rebuild is very low.  Most insurance agents think $500+ is more accurate.  I recommend checking your policy.

It’s a good idea to photograph all of your personal property.  Open your drawers and photograph the contents.  Photograph your appliances, decks, railings, garage, attic, etc.  Be as thorough as possible.  Should you ever need to file a claim, your efforts to document your personal property will prove invaluable.

Upload your photos to the cloud or store them in your bank safe deposit box.

Getting Rid of Junk?

Downsizing? Spring cleaning? Time to get rid of the extra stuff that is weighing you down?  I like to support businesses who give back to the community.  Think Pink & Green Junk Removal and Hauling does just that.  They donate a portion of their profits to Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  Get rid of yard waste, old appliances, mattresses, tires, estate clean out, etc.  5 star YELP rating!  Affordable too.  Open 7 days a week.  Try calling Steve or Dominic at 415-320-4987.  You can also schedule a pickup on their website.


Fire Safety and Your Roof

Do you know if your roof is in optimal condition in the event of a wildfire?  The Marin County Fire Department Community Wildfire Protection has some excellent guidelines to help you determine if you need to replace your roof. Read on…

If your roof has reached the end of its service life, it should be replaced. The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) recommends hiring a professional roofing contractor to replace or repair your roof covering.


Planning to Paint?

Planning on painting your house this year? NOW is a great time to buy the paint when the demand is low. Make sure to select paint colors with resale in mind. You never know when your life circumstances may change and you will move and need to sell. I have worked with top stagers and they always suggest a soft exterior color and bold front door. Keep the trim subtle and complementary. Whites, grays and touches of black are good choices. Off-white and tan is also a nice combo. The all-white farmhouse look is big with Millennials. Be a bit more unique, as you don’t want every house in the neighborhood to look the same!

Here are some colors that I have personally used. Always try your samples on the house first and view them at different times of the day to see the effects of lighting changes. Think in terms of color, trim and accent color (front door, shutters, etc.) BM = Benjamin Moore, SW = Sherwin Williams, Behr – Home Depot. If you need help, go to your local Benjamin Moore paint store and talk to their color specialists. There are many fine ones in the Bay Area.

Amazingly Affordable Carpets!

Remodeling or just changing the look of your room? Don’t be put off by TRADEWAY FLOORING’S huge warehouse and location near the railroad tracks in Richmond. This carpet emporium is a fantastic place to pick up a roll of high end carpet from the best carpet mills. Tradeway carries overstock rolls with all varieties and grades of carpet. Wall to wall as well as area rug options. Come prepared with your paint chips, fabrics, etc. They do not provide large swatches to take home, so you need to have a good idea of what you want before you go.

Darryl is the main man at Tradeway, and he is as nice as he can be. I’ve bought carpet for my own home here and have been very pleased. Unbelievable prices! They can recommend installers, or you can contact me for a recommendation.  Located at 350 Carlson Blvd. in Richmond.  510-233-3350

Awesome Apps for Homeowners

Here are two mobile apps that offer great solutions for homeowners. The realtors in my office highly recommend both of these. Check them out!

Are you finishing up your spring cleaning and need to haul away some large items to be donated or disposed of? Just buy a new set of outdoor furniture and need it delivered to your home? Lugg ( can take care of it for you. This easy to use APP prompts you to enter your location, your item’s destination, and a photo of your item, and you will quickly receive a quote within 45 minutes or sooner from a nearby mover who can complete the job for you. For more information and reviews about Lugg, click here.

Is your “to do” list getting out of control? Taskrabbit can help! Similar to Lugg, taskrabbit will find people in your neighborhood who can take care of those chores that you don’t have time for (or just don’t want to do). You simply post a description of the task, and you will receive offers from “taskers” in your neighborhood who are willing to do the job. Be sure to check out the Taskrabbit website for all of the details.


Solution For Fading Furniture

Don’t you hate it when your floors, furniture and rugs fade from years in the sun and heat? I have a suggestion for you. Add window film to your windows…It cuts down on the heat and fade factor. I have done this in my own home and think it has made a huge difference. 3M and Madico make window films that cut the UV rays and glare. You won’t even notice that the film is on your windows. Contact me if you need referrals to companies who install these products.