IIABA & FAIA Offer Consumer Safety Tips as Hurricane Charley Approaches
ALEXANDRIA, VA, August 13—Severe weather from Hurricane Charley is headed toward Florida. The area is expected to experience sudden power outages, pounding rains and harsh winds.
Dangerous storms leave behind paths of damage. The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA) and the Florida Association of Insurance Agents (FAIA) advise consumers to avert disaster by taking safety precautions that will help protect themselves, their families and their possessions.
IIABA and FAIA offer the following tips for hurricane safety:
• Assemble a disaster supplies kit and heed weather warnings. This kit should include first-aid supplies, non-perishable food, battery-powered flashlights and radio, bottled water, and blankets.
• Inventory your belongings. Keep a hand-written or videotaped inventory of your valuables in a safe place, along with insurance policies and other important documents.
• Make a utilities checklist. Be sure everyone in the house knows how to turn off gas, water, and other utilities if necessary.
• Review your homeowners’ insurance coverage. Check annually to make sure you are fully protected in weather-related disaster.
• Remove dead branches from trees in or near your yard.
• Bring pets inside, move cars into garages, and secure windows, awnings, and lawn furniture. Driving wind or hail can cause severe damage to these items.
• Watch for flash floods. Never walk or drive through fast moving water. Flash floods can develop so fast and move so swiftly, they can sweep cars away.
After the hurricane has passed, IIABA and FAIA advise residents with damage to their homes or businesses to:
• Make an inventory of all damaged property before cleaning up debris.
• Try to make temporary repairs to prevent further damage to their homes or businesses.
• Save property remnants and repair receipts for their independent insurance agents.
• Contact their independent insurance agents to notify the agents of their damage to their property and to file claims.
• And, report downed utility wires and stay out of damaged buildings and areas.
IIABA and FAIA have spokespeople who can offer expert advice about recovering from a natural disaster. They can:
• Explain how to recover from storm and flood losses, whether or not the property is insured.
• Provide tips on emergency repairs and rebuilding.
• Offer tips for “drying out” safely and replacing belongings.
• Give advice on minimizing losses and damage as waters continue to rise.
• Provide financial information on small businesses and the uninsured.
• Supply information on the National Flood Insurance Program.
For more information, or to speak with a local IIABA or FAIA spokesperson, call;
Office: (703) 706-5407
Cell/Weekend: (571) 243-5331
Office: (850) 893-4155
Cell/Weekend: (850) 264-6413
Founded in 1896, IIABA is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of more than 300,000 agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life and health—as well as employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.