Hurricane season is in full swing, and with Dean in the news, now is a good time to remind our customers what they can do to stay ready in case of an emergency. Here are some helpful tips and resources.

Safety first

If you are in the path of a hurricane or other storm:

  • In buildings, avoid elevators; for tornadoes, move to an underground shelter, or
    interior room or hallway on the lowest floor and stay away from corners.
  • Stay inside and away from windows, skylights and glass doors.
  • Know your community’s evacuation plan and do so immediately if asked.
  • Avoid washed-out and wet roads that can hide downed electrical lines.
  • If you’re in your car in the vicinity of a tornado, get out immediately and find safe shelter or lie flat in a ditch. Do not take shelter under an overpass or bridge.
  • Flying debris causes injuries and fatalities, so use your arms to protect your head and neck.
  • Drive only if it’s absolutely necessary. If you’re in an evacuated area, don’t return to your home or business until authorities say it’s safe.

Before the storm

You can take action to reduce storm damage:

  • Install storm shutters or impact-resistant window systems
  • Keep your roof in good shape; choose material designed to withstand high winds
  • Remove yard debris, like dead tree limbs, that high winds could transform into missiles
  • Make sure you, your family and/or employees know how to shut off utilities
  • Back up computer records and store them at least 50 miles off-site
  • Gather important records, including inventory lists and insurance information, to take with you if you must evacuate

An emergency kit

There are six basics every family should have on hand in case of an emergency. Keep them in an easy-to-carry container in case you need to evacuate.

Water: A three-day supply (one gallon per person per day)

Food: A three-day supply of non-perishable food that requires no refrigeration or
cooking, and little or no water to prepare

First-aid kit

Non-prescription and prescription drugs: Pain relievers, antacid, anti-diarrhea
medication, etc.

Tools and supplies: Battery-operated radio and extra batteries, flashlight and extra
batteries, cash or traveler’s checks, non-electric can opener, etc.

Clothing and bedding: Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person

Other useful items

  • Any gas or diesel fuel container
  • AA-, C-, D-cell and 6-volt-batteries (rechargeable), coolers (non-electrical)
  • Two-way radios, weather band radios, tarps, waterproof sheeting, ground anchor
    systems, tie-ins
  • Portable generators to provide light, communications or to preserve perishable food in the event of a power outage

Know your insurance policy – and your needs

Storm-related expenses insurance typically covers:

  • Damage to roofs and walls
  • Damage to cars
  • Damage to personal belongings
  • Additional living expenses (if you cannot live in your home during repairs)

Costs insurance typically does NOT cover, unless optional coverage is purchased:

  • Flood damage (the National Flood Insurance Program is one source for coverage)
  • Loss of business income (this is typically included in Safeco Businessowners, Special
  • Services and BOP Access™ policies, but you should verify coverage)

If you have damage

If your home or business has been damaged, contact your Vaughan agent as soon as possible. Provide at least a general description of your damage, and our claims professional will call later – usually within 72 hours.

If you have serious damage, you’ll probably need a contractor to handle repairs. But be
careful – scam artists posing as legitimate contractors sometimes target victims of
storms when they’re most vulnerable.