Earthquake Advisory Issued for Southern California

San Diego Residents, please be advised that an Earthquake Advisory has been issued. Help pass the word by sharing this post now!

The warning issued by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services follows a series of small temblors deep under the Salton Sea, which is located on the 800-mile-long San Andres Fault.


LA Times and KTLA has reported a rapid succession of more than 200 earthquakes — three measuring above magnitude 4.0 — In what experts call an Earthquake Swarm, continuing for more than 24 hours.

The Earthquake Advisory will remain in effect until Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. and includes the following counties: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Kern, Ventura, San Bernardino, San Diego and Imperial.

The California Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Council with the California Office of Emergency Services believe that areas along the San Andreas fault have a heightened probability of an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.3 or higher.



Does my current Home Insurance policy include coverage for Earthquake damage? 

As you probably know, earthquake damage is not covered by a standard homeowners’’ policy. For the most part, the risk of experiencing significant damage due to an earthquake is not that high in many areas. California, however, is one of the places where the risk is high –– and history has demonstrated just how costly such damage can be.

Earthquake insurance provides protection from the shaking and cracking that can destroy buildings and personal possessions. Coverage for other kinds of damage that may result from earthquakes, such as fire and water damage due to burst gas and water pipes, is provided by standard home and business insurance policies.


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Can dogs predict earthquakes? Can humans? Is there such a thing as ““earthquake weather?”” No, no and no. There are all kinds of myths surrounding earthquakes but the truth is that we have no way of predicting them. Earthquakes are also unaffected by the time of day and can occur in the morning, afternoon or evening. These are the things that make earthquakes so dangerous. We never know when one might occur, which is why people who live in areas prone to earthquakes must be prepared.

  1. Identify potential hazards in the home and fix them.

Is your water heater safely strapped? Is your flat screen television securely mounted on the wall? Are there tall, heavy pieces of furniture that need to be secured to the wall? Each of these poses a significant hazard both in terms of a family’s safety and costs should damage occur to these fixtures or because of them.

  1. Create a disaster preparedness plan.

Does your family know what to do when an earthquake occurs? It is very important to make sure everyone in the house knows the right thing to do before, during and following an earthquake. All family members should be able to identify safe spots in the home and know how to ““drop, cover and hold on.”” Keep shoes and flashlights under beds, devise a signal (such as three knocks) if someone becomes trapped, identify a safe spot to meet after the shaking stops, and have practice ““drills”” every now and then to make sure everyone knows what the plan is. These are just a few ideas for how a family should be prepared for an earthquake.

  1. Prepare disaster supplies kits.

Everyone should have a disaster supply kit –– personally and for the household. Personalearthquake_damage kits might include prescription medications, dust masks, flashlights and batteries and copies of personal identification items. Kits should be placed in the home, in the car and at work. You never know where you’ll be when an earthquake occurs. A household kit should include things like essential documents (insurance policies, deeds, etc.), battery-operated radio and batteries, drinking water, non-perishable food items, a first aid kit, tools, garbage bags, supplies and restraints for pets if necessary, blankets, etc. This kit should be stored in a water- resistant and easily-accessible place in the home.

  1. Identify your building’s potential weak spots and fix them.

If there is any way to strengthen your home from sustaining significant damage from an earthquake, do it! If you need assistance in identifying weak spots, there are professionals out there who specialize in this sort of thing. Examples of weak spots include inadequate foundations, unbraced cripple walls, soft first stories, and unreinforced masonry. If you find any of these kinds of weaknesses in your home, fix them as soon as you can.

  1. Protect yourself during an earthquake: Drop, Cover and Hold On.

During an earthquake, you should drop to the floor, cover yourself (get under a sturdy table, for example) and hold on until the shaking stops. Avoid things like exterior walls, windows, hanging objects, mirrors and do not go outside! If you’re in bed, cover your head with a pillow and stay there. If you are in your car, pull over and set the parking brake (don’t part under overpasses). If you’re outside, move clear of power lines, trees, buildings, etc. If you’re in a public place such as a stadium or theatre, stay put and cover yourself.

  1. After the earthquake, check for injuries and damages.

Check everyone for injuries and administer care or first aid immediately. If you are trapped, cover your mouth, nose and eyes from dust. Seek emergency medical care as soon as possible, if necessary. These are all common sense actions. As for damage, your home (or the building you are in at the time of an earthquake) is at risk for fire, gas leaks, power outage and broken lights or appliances. Put out small fires if you can and turn of the main gas valve ONLY if you suspect there is a leak.

  1. When safe, continue to follow your disaster preparedness plan.

Once your family is safe and you’ve attended to any immediate needs, follow through with your disaster preparedness plan. Remember, aftershocks and tremors may occur for days or weeks following an earthquake. Just because the shaking as stopped doesn’t mean it’s done for good. You must always be prepared.



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Call us now: 760-749-2383

For ideas from the Red Cross about emergency preparedness, go to


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Meet the Fire Chief!


As the saying goes, “You can’t keep a good man down.” Neither can retirement. So after a successful 29-year career with the Vista Fire Department, where he rose through the ranks achieving Battalion Chief before retiring, Joe Napier was ready for another challenge. His timing was impeccable. Coinciding with his retirement was Valley Center Fire Protection District’s nationwide search for a new Fire Chief to oversee and implement its planned expansion. Luckily for Valley Center, they only had to look as far as, well, Valley Center, to find the perfect candidate.

You see, not only was Joe Napier extremely qualified from a professional standpoint, but also from a personal one, since he has been a Valley Center resident for almost twenty years and truly has a vested interest in our community. He has lived through the mandatory evacuations of 2003 and 2007, so has a level of experience and personal knowledge that he brings to the table. Chief Napier, or Joe as most people around here call him, has held the position of Fire Chief for “twenty-one months” and has done an outstanding job of fulfilling the vision and goals set for him, and by him.

But he doesn’t take all the credit. He says he was blessed to start with a “fine” Fire Department and through a lot of hard work from all involved, they have become a “great” Fire Department! He is thrilled that they now participate at all levels as a recognized member of the fire community. He enjoys working closely with Cal Fire, Tribal and other emergency responders. He said there is a healthy competition between VC Fire and Cal Fire (iron strengthens iron) and they complement each other in achieving the mission.

Promoting life safety through Public Education, prevention, and all-risk fire response are among the main things Joe focuses on, but his highest priority and his greatest accomplishment has been adding Advanced Life Support Services (ALS) for medical emergencies. Establishing ALS/paramedic services, whereby paramedics are deployed on-scene much more rapidly than before (where seconds and minutes count) will have been in service one year on October 1st, and is responsible for saving lives and reducing trauma from injuries and long-lasting effects of other medical emergencies. What a blessing and peace of mind to know that when you call 911, within minutes, a paramedic team will be onsite to help stabilize the patient(s) in need!

You don’t have to spend much time with Joe before it becomes obvious that he loves his job! In fact, he practically glows with excitement when he starts talking about his passion for protecting and educating his neighbors about fire safety and prevention. The same is true when he addresses the forty dedicated personnel he oversees. It truly is refreshing and encouraging to meet someone who, after so many years in the business, is still passionate about what they do!

If you haven’t had a chance to meet our Fire Chief, he would love the opportunity to meet you. He is available to speak at civic clubs, organizations, community meetings, schools, etc. You also are welcome to meet him on his own turf at the Fire Department, or what he likes to call the “Department of Quality of Life.”

Joe Napier

VCFPD Fire Chief


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Are You Prepared? VCFPD Can Help!


If you live in Valley Center or the surrounding area, you know we tend to think of fire season as in the fall, after a long hot summer with little or no rain. However, when asked about his predictions for the “coming” fire season, Chief Joe Napier smiled and responded, “In our area, if it’s not raining, it’s ‘always’ fire season.” With that in mind, it’s important to always be prepared and ready to act if the need arises. Good advice!

But since our “traditional” fire season is right around the corner, it’s also important to note what we can expect weather-wise. Chief Napier said, according to the weather predictions from the experts, we can expect a hotter, drier and windier fall than average, which does not bode well for fire safety. However, since the Chief takes their advice to heart, he makes sure all his personnel is well educated and trained to best handle whatever comes up.

Of course, his job also is to make sure the public is prepared through community education and by providing real-life tools to insure safety in the event of a wildfire. So, the best thing we can do is follow the advice from someone who knows what he’s talking about. Here are a few of the recommendations Chief Napier shared:

  1. Register your cell phone with to receive reverse 911 calls.
  2. Make a plan. Since your family may not be together when a disaster happens, it is important to have a plan already in place so you will know how you will contact one another; how you will get back together; and what you will do in different situations. A template is available at
  3. Build a kit. Use a clear large, tub that is easily transportable to store necessary emergency items for your family (including pets) in the event you have to evacuate. Items include medications, personal care items, comfort items, non-perishable food, water, flashlight/batteries, blanket, small tools, etc. For a checklist of items and their purpose, please click here.
  4. Protect your home. Maintain a 100-foot clear radius of combustible vegetation around your structure(s). Make sure smoke alarms are present and test regularly. For information on defensible space, click here.
  5. Protect important papers. Scan important papers and save on a thumb drive or in a “cloud.” Give a thumb drive to a non-resident family member/friend to safeguard or use a safety deposit box. (Fireproof safes are not always adequate.)
  6. Pets/animals. If you have pets and/or other animals at home, and you’re not, when a fire strikes, notify the Fire Department and/or Sheriff’s Department. They work closely with the Department of Animal Services to help protect our “other family members.”
  7. Be safety conscious. Be aware of your surroundings and use caution when doing anything that might generate sparks or cause a fire.
  8. Get involved. Join/support CERT, DAS VC DART and other local Emergency Response Teams to help serve your community.
  9. Obey fire evacuations. Evacuate immediately if instructed to do so. Your life, or the life of someone else, may depend on it. Most things are replaceable, YOU are not!

For more safety information and hands-on experience, be sure and come to the Valley Center Fire Protection District’s Fire Safety Exposition on October 8th from 10 am – 4 pm at Bates Nut Farm in Valley Center.

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Congratulations, Brandon!


It’s official! PVI Manager, Brandon Strausbaugh, just received his CPCU certificate at the annual meeting of the CPCU Society in Hawaii.

For those who are not familiar with CPCU, it stands for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter, and is a professional designation in property-casualty insurance and risk management. The CPCU designation is held by just over 2% of all those employed in the insurance industry in the United States, and is widely considered the premier designation in the property and casualty insurance industry.

The program to earn the CPCU designation is built on a foundation of broad technical knowledge, high ethical standards, and demonstrated industry experience, and prepares those who complete the program to meet the changes and challenges of a demanding risk management and insurance marketplace with confidence and professionalism. Passing the required CPCU exams and meeting the ethics, experience, and matriculation requirements is what earns the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation.

So, obviously, we at PVI are very proud of Brandon and his accomplishment! We hope you join us in congratulating him on a job well done. For all of those who have encouraged and supported him along the way, Brandon says, “Mahalo!”

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Another First for PVI!

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Pauma/Valley Insurance Agency (PVI) never stops trying to better itself. Whether it’s offering the highest quality, tailor-made insurance portfolios; providing excellent customer service; continuous training for our Independent Agents and Customer Service Reps; or being dedicated leaders in our community, PVI strives to be the best, while offering the most value to our customers and serving our community. Obviously, that’s a major reason that PVI has been “Valley Center’s Most Trusted Independent Insurance Agency Since 1978.”

That’s also why PVI recently applied for accreditation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). We know that our record speaks for itself and we welcomed the scrutiny that comes with the application process, which includes: review of business records, practices and policies; consumer complaints with the BBB (none); customer reviews; and how long the business has been in operation.

So, it is with a great sense of accomplishment (and maybe a little pride) that we are thrilled to announce that PVI not only received its BBB Accreditation, but we also received an A+ Rating! Obviously, we look at this as an honor, but also a responsibility, to insure that we maintain the PVI Standard (Always a Cut Above).

Although PVI has not been around as long as the BBB brand, which has stood for trust in the marketplace for 100 years, we are Valley Center’s oldest Independent Insurance Agency and the only one with a BBB Accreditation. However, we know that none of this would be possible without you, our valued customers! Thank you for being the reason we are here!


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PVI Winery Insurance is the Best of the Bunch!


Southern California is proudly becoming one of the most recognized wine capitals in the world. Temecula Valley currently has over 35 wineries, and has earned their title as Southern California’s Wine Country. But there are other areas of Southern California that are quickly adding their names to the wine barrel, so to speak, including Escondido, Valley Center, Pauma Valley, Ramona and Julian. In fact, the number of wineries combined in just these areas of San Diego County exceed the number of wineries in Temecula.

When it comes to wine, most people focus on the finished product, which is completely understandable. After all, when you order a glass, or bottle, of your favorite variety and vintage, you naturally are more focused on enjoying the fruits of the vintner’s labors than you are on dwelling on the process that brought it to you.

To the winery owners who are directly involved in that process, providing that first taste of perfection to wine lovers can be a long, arduous journey fraught with many bumps along the way; just ask Alysha Stehly & Chris Bromell, owners of Vesper Vineyards. They will be the first to tell you that this is a far from glamorous industry; it is a 24-7 job and a way of life, often consisting of garden gloves and science goggles.

From the rigors of starting and building your vineyards and winery business, to the hours of product development, to the whims of the weather, to battling a variety of pests, to protecting your investment against damage and liability… Yes, your livelihood continually encompasses a lot of what-ifs and unknowns. (But we know you love it!)

That’s where Pauma/Valley Insurance (PVI) enters the picture! Our Independent Agents, who specialize in winery insurance, can custom-tailor your policy to fit your specific needs at the most affordable cost. By trusting PVI to do what we do best – insuring your winery against the “what-ifs” of the wine-making business, you can focus on what you do best – providing unique and distinctive offerings as only you can do. Together, we are the perfect pairing for success!

For more information on winery insurance, give us a call today 760-749-2383; or check-out

Pauma/Valley Insurance Agency (PVI) is vintage 1978, when it was established by Barni Strausbaugh, and has earned the distinction of being Valley Center’s most trusted insurance agency. It’s obvious that PVI, like a fine wine, just gets better with age!

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PVI is Always in Style!


Brandon Strausbaugh, PVI Manager, had his television commercial debut sewn up!

Just as a fashion house works long and hard to get their Spring or Fall line ready for its official runway debut, PVI has been working long and hard to fashion our new  “Persona” to perfection. In fact the pattern for our new theme was cut long ago, we were just waiting for the perfect venue to put all the pieces together.

Sew, we won’t keep you on pins and needles any longer! On Tuesday, August 9th, we officially launched the new PVI “Tailor” persona with a television commercial that will run in the fall. (But more about that a little later.)

We, at PVI, believe the precision and expertise that is associated with fine craftsmanship should be applied to insurance. After all, insurance isn’t one-size-fits-all; it’s personal. It’s about the people and things that matter most to you: your family, your home, your possessions and your business.

That’s why we chose the Tailor persona, because it best reflects how we do business. When you trust your insurance needs to one of our Independent Agents, you can be confident in knowing your policy is tailored just for you, to fit your unique style and personal needs.

So why choose “off-the-rack” when we can tailor an insurance portfolio that fits you to a T? Remember, the PVI Standard is always a cut above. Give us a call today to schedule your custom fitting! 760-749-2383

And watch for our brand-new commercial! It will be airing September through November during The Neighborhood SD on The CW Channel 6 with Ty Hines!

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