Disaster Plans for the Wealthy, Courtesy of the Madoff Fiance


Although Haberfeld has the cheapest option, the introductory-level $750 package, she said Hooper's services have helped her family think beyond just keeping canned goods in the house.

Preparing a phone list of critical numbers, creating an evacuation plan and assigning a person in charge -- the "family marshal" -- were just some of the few suggestions the Haberfelds received.

"Some of it is totally intuitive and easy to think through, other parts of it aren't," she said. "For so long, year after year, we didn't take care of those things so when we finally hired Black Umbrella, we sat down with a specialist, [and] we did some critical work."

Haberfeld said it gave her peace of mind to know that her family had a plan in the face of disaster.

"I am heartbroken for what's happening in Japan and I have some concern because you don't ever know what's going to happen," she said. "I feel really secure that we have a solid plan that could take care of the people that I love in a time of need in a lot of ways."

However, Haberfeld said Black Umbrella's connection to the Madoff family had no impact on her decision to hire Hooper.

Hooper refused to speak of how her connection to the now-infamous family had affected her.

"Every family has ups and downs," Hooper said. "My thinking on this is, I think, the same as everybody's."

Before his brother Mark committed suicide last December, Andrew Madoff said in an interview with New York Times: "I think that what happened to me illustrated to me how important it is to be prepared for unexpected events. I'm just another example."

Prior to launching her company in 2009, Hooper ran a high-end fishing store, Urban Angler. She has extensive survival training. She said she was inspired to start Black Umbrella in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 after watching families try to recover. But not all disasters are natural -- some are also financial.

"Parts of this process help with disasters that are much more personal than a fire or a flood," she said.

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