ALEXANDRIA, Virginia, Aug. 26, 2016—In the wake of the flooding that has devastated southern Louisiana, Trusted Choice® and the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”), offer the following tips for recovering in the aftermath of the disaster.
General Property Tips:
• The danger caused by floods isn't over when the water recedes, so don't attempt to return home until authorities say it's safe to do so.
• If your car has been submerged, let it dry out thoroughly before trying to start it.
• Use battery-powered flashlights or lanterns to examine the premises. Do not attempt to turn the lights on until you are sure it is safe to do so.
• Watch out for snakes that may have come into your home with flood waters. Use a stick to poke through debris.
• Pump water gradually from flooded basements to avoid structural damage.
• Shovel out mud while it is still moist.
• Raise wall-to-wall carpeting to allow air to circulate through it.
• When plaster walls have dried, brush off loose dirt. Wash with a mild soap solution and rinse with clean water.
• Clean out heating and plumbing systems.
• To prevent metal objects from rusting, clean immediately, wipe with a kerosene-soaked cloth and apply a light coat of oil.
• Allow clothing and household fabrics to dry before brushing off loose dirt.
• Boil any water you use for drinking or food preparation until the water supply is declared safe.
• Throw out any food or medicine that has come in contact with flood waters.
• Take wooden furniture outside to dry, but keep it out of direct sun-light to prevent warping.
• Before the house is aired out, scrub all woodwork and floors with a stiff brush.
Often when people are interviewed after a major disaster, they express profound sorrow over the loss of family photos. Houses and everything inside them can usually be replaced but photos, which contain years of memories and family history, cannot. Of course, the best advice is to have any digital photo files backed up and stored online or on a drive off premises. However, these tips may help you preserve your water-damaged, hard-copy photos.
• Most prints, negatives and slides can be air-dried. Put the image or picture side face up and avoid touching the front surface.
• Hang the items on a clothesline, using wooden or other non-abrasive clothespins or use a fan to circulate the air. If using a fan, do not aim it directly at the photos.
• For a framed photo, place the frame glass-side down and remove backing materials. Remove the photo and air-dry it. If the photo is stuck to the glass, don't remove it. Keeping the glass side down, try to dry the frame with the photo inside.
• If photos are covered with mud or dirt and are still wet, they may be gently rinsed in clean, cold water.
• If old negatives are stuck together or if your photos are badly damaged, consult with a photographic conservator at your local museum or historical society.
A recent consumer survey commissioned
by Trusted Choice® and the Big “I”, reveals that many homeowners lack adequate insurance coverage, do not fully understand their homeowners policies and do not have enough savings to support their households in the event of a disaster. This makes disaster recovery much more difficult.
To request an interview with a national spokesperson or a Trusted Choice® insurance agent in your area, please contact Sue Nester (broadcast), (703) 706-5448, firstname.lastname@example.org or Margarita Tapia (print and online) at (703) 706-5374, email@example.com. Louisiana media may also contact Jeff Albright, Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of Louisiana CEO at (225) 236-1366 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 more than 26,000 independent insurance agencies and brokerage firms and 70 leading insurance companies. For more information, go to www.TrustedChoice.com.
Founded in 1896, the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”), is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of approximately a quarter of a million independent insurance 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.
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