Disaster Planning

from McFarlane-King Agency

According to experts, the amount of natural disasters increases every year. No matter where you live it seems we’re subject to at least one event we need to be prepared for. Prior to 1987 the United States has never experience a natural disaster with insured losses greater than $1 billion. Since that time there have been eight such events. New studies project higher losses from future storms: $53 billion for a class 5 hurricane striking Miami and $51 billion for a class 4 storm striking New Jersey and Long Island. A catastrophic earthquake striking Los Angeles or San Francisco, or a similar quake in the New Madrid Zone of the Mississippi River Valley, could cause insured damage of $100 billion. The enormous potential for future losses is causing insurance availability problems. A.M. Best, the independent insurance rating service, recently announced it will lower the financial ratings of at least 14 major insurers if they do not reduce their exposure to natural disasters. Natural disasters are a growing problem for victims and taxpayers who face the burden of paying for relief, regardless of where they live.

Find out what risks you are subject to at: Global Data Vault

The Independent Insurance Agents of America (IIAA) has assembled this special Natural Disaster section to provide consumers and insurance agents with disaster tips and information about the efforts of the Natural Disaster Coalition (NDC) to push forward the National Disaster Protection Act.

The NDC is a task force of lenders, insurers, state and local emergency managers, firefighters and homeowner groups dedicated to reducing property losses and injuries from natural disasters.

Also see Declared Disasters in Michigan.

Disaster planning in Michigan:

  • Winter storm
  • Tornado
  • Flood
  • Fire
  • Earthquake

Winter Storm Emergency Planning

Winter storms bring rain, ice, snow, cold temperatures and often dangerous driving conditions.

Two of the 10 most costly insured catastrophes in U.S. history were winter storms.

In December 1983, wind, snow and freezing in 41 states caused estimated losses of $880 million.

The March Blizzard of 1993 was the fifth most costly insured catastrophe in the United States, causing an estimated $1.75 billion in damage.

Before a Winter Storm

  • Make a written or videotaped inventory of household possessions/property and store in a safe place with insurance policies, documents and other valuables.
  • Keep a supply of extra blankets.
  • Make sure each member of your household has adequate winter clothing: at least a winter coat, mittens or gloves, a hat and water-resistant boots.
  • Prepare a disaster supply kit including: first aid kit; essential medications; portable, battery-powered radio; flashlight; extra batteries; canned food; non-electric can opener; and bottled water.
  • Winterize your car every winter season.
  • Fuel your car’s gas tank full for a forecasted winter emergency to keep the fuel line from freezing.
  • Contact your local Red Cross chapter to learn how to treat frostbite, hypothermia and exposure to the cold.

After a Winter Storm

  • Call your independent insurance agent to report any loss.
  • Make temporary repairs to prevent further damage.
  • Delay permanent repairs until your adjuster approves reimbursement.
  • Get any necessary construction permits from your community.
  • Keep all receipts.
  • Prepare an inventory of all Damaged or destroyed property.
  • Take photos of damaged areas.
  • Save remnants of damaged or destroyed property for your insurance company adjuster.
  • Meet with your adjuster first, before signing anything with contractors, lawyers or public adjusters.

Tornado Emergency Planning

Fact: tornadoes strike every month of the year in almost every state. Peak tornado season is April to August.

Before a Tornado

  • Make a written or videotaped inventory of household possessions/property and store in a safe place with insurance policies, documents and other valuables.
  • Locate a safe location in your home i.e. a basement, center hallway, bathroom or closet on the lowest floor.
  • Take a first aid class from your local Red Cross Chapter.
  • Prepare a disaster kit including: first aid kit, medication, battery powered radio, flashlight, extra batteries, canned food, can opener, bottled water, extra clothing, shoes and work gloves.
  • Assemble instructions on how to turn off your utilities.
  • Be prepared by practicing a tornado drill.
  • Listen to your local radio and TV stations for updated storm information and for instructions if a disaster occurs. Check your homeowner’s insurance policy to make sure you’re covered for damage due to tornadoes.

After a Tornado

  • Call your independent insurance agent to report any loss.
  • Make temporary repairs to prevent further damage.
  • Delay permanent repairs until your insurance adjuster approves reimbursement.
  • Get any necessary construction permits from your community.
  • Keep all receipts.
  • Prepare an inventory of all damaged or destroyed property.
  • Take photos of damage.
  • Save remnants of damaged or destroyed property for your insurance company adjuster.
  • Meet with your adjuster first, before signing anything with contractors, lawyers or public adjusters.

Flood Emergency Preparation

Floods and flash floods are the most common natural disaster, occurring in all 50 states. They cause devastating damage to buildings and personal property. Michigan is subject to Flash, Localized as well as Lake, River, Stream and Tributary Flooding.

Fact: floods cause devastating damage to buildings and personal belongings in Michigan! One in three flood insurance claims are generated outside areas considered “flood-zone”. Homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage.

Follow these tips to ensure your family’s safety and financial stability in the event of a flood.

Before a Flood

  • Make a written, photographic and/or videotaped inventory of household possessions and property, and store it in safe place offsite with insurance policies, documents and other valuables.
  • Take a first aid class from your local American Red Cross chapter.
  • Prepare disaster supply kit that includes a first aid kit, canned food, manual can opener, bottled water (emergency managers recommend three gallons per person), rubber boots, rubber gloves, battery powered radio, flashlight and extra batteries.
  • Study evacuation routes.

During a Flood

  • Once a warning is issued, listen to local radio and TV stations for information.
  • When a watch is issued, move furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home.
  • Abandon your car if it stalls in rising water and move to higher ground.
  • Don’t drive into any large puddles or into water that seems to be moving rapidly.

After a Flood

  • Call your insurance agent as soon as possible to see if you need to file a claim.
  • Make temporary repairs to prevent further damage.
  • Keep all receipts.
  • Delay permanent repairs until your adjuster approves reimbursement.
  • Get any necessary construction permits from your community.
  • Prepare an inventory of all damaged or destroyed property.
  • Take photos of damaged areas.
  • Save remnants of damaged or destroyed property for your company adjuster.
  • Meet with your adjuster before signing anything with contractors, lawyers or public adjusters.
  • Before you attempt to start your car let it dry thoroughly.

Protecting Yourself is Easy

Flood insurance picks up where your homeowners insurance leaves off. It is not expensive when compared with the monthly payments for disaster loans and it is easy to get. Just call McFarlane-King Agency.

What to ask your insurance agent?

  • Do I have flood insurance?
  • How much flood insurance should I purchase?
  • How much contents coverage should I purchase?
  • Do I qualify for a preferred risk policy?
  • Can I finance my premiums?

Fire Emergency Planning

Fact: a residential fire occurs in the United States every 67 seconds. Fires related to cooking usually cause more residential fires than any other cause. Careless smoking is the leading known cause of residential fire deaths. Arson is the No. 1 cause of nonresidential fires.

Use the following tips to ensure your family’s safety and security before and after a fire.

Before a Fire

  • Make a written or videotaped inventory of household possessions and property and store it in safe place offsite with insurance policies, documents and other valuables.
  • Install a battery powered smoke detector on each level of your home and outside sleeping areas.
  • Once a month use the test button to check each smoke detector.
  • Replace smoke detector batteries once a year when you change your clocks at Daylight Savings.
  • Purchase and install a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and each level of your home.
  • Take a first aid class from your local Red Cross chapter.
  • Determine at least two ways to escape from every room in your home.
  • Purchase rope ladders for above first level evacuations.
  • Find a safe location outside your home as a meeting place after escaping.
  • Practice your escape plan.

After a Fire

  • Call your independent insurance agent as soon as possible to report the fire.
  • Make temporary repairs and prevent further damage.
  • Delay permanent repairs until your adjuster approves reimbursement.
  • Get any necessary construction permits from your community.
  • Keep all receipts.
  • Prepare an inventory of all damaged or destroyed property.
  • Take photos of damaged areas.
  • Save remnants of damaged or destroyed property for your insurance company adjuster.
  • Meet with your adjuster first, before signing anything with contractors, lawyers or public adjusters.

Contact McFarlane-King Agency today to see if you are covered in the event of a fire.

Earthquake Emergency Preparation

Fact: since 1900, earthquakes have occurred in 39 states. Earthquakes have caused damage in all 50 states. Between 400 and 500 earthquakes are reported in the United States per year on average. Out of the ten most costly U.S. earthquakes, nine occurred in California, however major fault lines exist in the Midwest and the East.

There are several things you can do to assure your family’s safety before and after an earthquake.

Before an Earthquake

  • Make a written or videotaped inventory of household possessions and property, and store those records in a safe place offsite with insurance policies, documents and other valuables.
  • Choose a safe place in every room where nothing can fall on you.
  • Practice “Drop, Cover and “Hold On”
  • Designate an out of town common contact.
  • Safeguard your home by bolting or strapping tall or unstable furniture and water heaters to wall studs and installing sturdy latches on cupboards.
  • Take a first aid class from your local Red Cross chapter.
  • Prepare a disaster supply kit including with a battery powered radio, flashlight, extra batteries, at least three gallons of water per person, canned food, manual can opener, first aid kit, essential medications, shoes, work gloves, sanitation supplies, fire extinguisher, tools and instructions to shut off utilities.

After an Earthquake

  • Call your independent insurance agent once it is possible.
  • Make temporary repairs to prevent further damage.
  • Delay permanent repairs until your adjuster approves reimbursement.
  • Get any necessary construction permits from your community.
  • Keep all receipts.
  • Prepare an inventory of all damaged or destroyed property.
  • Take photos of damaged areas.
  • Save remnants of damaged or destroyed property for your insurance company adjuster.
  • Meet with your adjuster before signing anything with contractors, lawyers or public adjusters

Be prepared! Call McFarlane-King Agency to get earthquake insurance today!

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Garden City
28230 Ford Road
Garden City, MI 48135

734-427-3000
9AM - 5PM Mon - Fri