ALEXANDRIA, Va., Sept. 1, 2010 – Severe weather from Hurricane Earl is headed toward the East Coast of the United States. Dangerous weather leaves behind paths of destruction and experts say harsh conditions from this storm are likely from the Carolinas to New England. The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) and Trusted Choice® advise consumers to avert disaster by taking safety precautions that will help protect them and their possessions this season and any time of year.
Trusted Choice® independent insurance agents and spokespeople are available to offer the following tips for hurricane safety and explain how to:
• Have a disaster evacuation plan in place. Find out how you and your neighbors would be informed about an imminent disaster. Ask if evacuation routes have been established. Contact your city's or town's planning and emergency assistance organizations. Make sure everyone in your household knows what to do and where to go in a disaster.
• 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 list and/or videotaped inventory of your valuables in a safe place, along with insurance policies and other important documents.
• Make a utilities checklist. Be sure adults in the household know 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.
• Survey the area around your home. 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 a severe storm, report downed utility wires and stay out of damaged buildings and areas.
A recent national survey by Trusted Choice® and the Big “I” found that most Americans are not fully prepared in the event of a natural disaster. Of all survey respondents, less than 22% said they felt they are fully prepared in case of a disaster. More than half of respondents (51%) admitted they are only somewhat prepared, and more than a fifth of households (22.7%) reported that they were not prepared at all.
For additional survey results and tips on hurricanes, flooding and disaster preparedness planning, click HERE.
To interview a national spokesperson or a local Trusted Choice® insurance agent in another area, contact Sue Nester (firstname.lastname@example.org) Big “I” broadcast media director at (703) 706-5448. Print journalists should contact Margarita Tapia (email@example.com) Big “I” director of public affairs at (703) 706-5473.
Trusted Choice® educates consumers about the benefits of using independent agents and brokers for their insurance needs: choice of companies, customized policies and advocacy support. Trusted Choice® is the consumer marketing identity for approximately 10,000 independent insurance agencies and brokerage firms and 54 leading insurance companies. For more information, go to www.TrustedChoice.com.
Founded in 1896, the Big “I” 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, health, employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.