Industry News

Helping Your Children Prepare For a Disaster

September is National Preparedness Month and throughout the month we have provided resources to help you and your family prepare for a hurricane and build an emergency kit. Today we are rounding out the month by sharing some tips for talking to your children about hurricane preparedness.

For children and teens the most important thing is to help them understand their role in helping the family prepare. This downloadable checklist empowers kids to take responsibility of knowing who to contact and what steps to take in case of emergency.

Helping children cope if an emergency happens is an important part of preparedness. The following tips can guide you:

Tips For Helping Children Cope During An Emergency:

1) Encourage dialogue and questions

Create the space and opportunities for your children to talk about their feelings, thoughts, and concerns. When they ask you questions, give them the amount of information you feel is appropriate for their age.

2) Limit media exposure

Intense and repetitive media coverage can disturb children and teens of any age. If your children watch TV or have access to the internet, be on hand to answer questions and be ready to suggest alternative activities should they become distressed by the news coverage.

3) Make time for them and find support

Help your kids understand that they are safe by increasing family time and activities. Build a support network of friends, family, and community organization to help you and your children cope.

4) Keep to a routine

Having a sense of structure can help your children feel more relaxed. When it is safe to do so, returning to school and extracurricular activities can give children a much-needed break and change of scenery.

 

If a disaster does occur, after you make sure everyone is safe and you inform your loved ones you are okay, call us at 866-345-2033 with any questions about insurance coverage or property damage claims.

Building an Emergency Kit

The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season is the first in recorded history in which 13 tropical storms formed before September, with as many as 25 being predicted before the end of storm season on November 30. As part of National Preparedness Month we are sharing tips and resources on the CMS blog each week to help you keep your family and property safe. 

 

This week we’re helping you build a hurricane kit. This kit should be ready at all times in the event of an emergency and should include everything you need to survive unaided for seven days. Remember to utilize your Emergency Plan to account for the unique needs of family members and pets as you build your emergency kit.

 

Basic Disaster Supplies Kit:

Store items in your kit in airtight plastic bags and make sure your entire kit can fit into easy-to-carry containers like plastic bins or a duffel bag. While you want to be prepared, remember that this needs to be something you can “grab and go.”

 

The basic kit should contain the following: 

  • Water (one gallon per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation)
  • Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle (to signal for help)
  • Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
  • Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
  • Manual can opener (for food)
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

Download a physical copy of the Recommended Supplies List to use as a checklist by clicking HERE

 

Additional recommended supplies: 

Since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic this Spring, the CDC has recommended adding the following items to your emergency kit to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

  • Cloth face coverings (for everyone ages 2 and above), soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes to disinfect surfaces
  • Prescription medications
  • Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
  • Prescription eyeglasses and contact lens solution
  • Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes and diaper rash cream
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Cash or traveler’s checks
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

 

Once your kit is complete, don’t forget to store it in a cool, dry place where it is easily accessible. Maintain your kit periodically by replacing expired items as needed. 


If a disaster does occur, after you make sure everyone is safe and you inform your loved ones you are okay, call us at 866-345-2033 with any questions about insurance coverage or property damage claims.

 

4 Steps to Hurricane Readiness

September is National Preparedness Month and is recognized as a way of promoting family and community disaster planning to ensure Floridians are as fully prepared as possible. As we enter the peak of hurricane season and with COVID-19 adding another layer of threat, Attorney General Ashley Moody is asking all Floridians to take their preparations seriously and reevaluate their plans.

 

Each week in September, CMS will be providing resources to help you and your family be prepared. This week we are sharing a 4-step guide to creating your family’s emergency preparedness plan.

 

4 Steps to Readiness


Step 1: Talk through the basics

Bring your family together for a brainstorming session around the most important things to include in your Hurricane Prep Plan. Things to discuss include:

  • How will we receive emergency alerts and warnings?
  • How will we communicate with immediate and extended family?
  • What is our evacuation route?
  • What is our shelter plan?
  • What do we need to add to our emergency kit due to Covid?
  • Do we have plans in place if our house is damaged due to the storm?


Step 2: Consider your family’s specific needs

As you customize your plan for your family, remember to take a holistic view of the situation.

  • Do you have pets? It is never ok to leave a pet behind in a hurricane. Treat a pet like you would a child and make sure you have their documents, enough food, and any medications ready to take with you.
  • Do any family members have special needs or medications to consider? Contact your doctor to get extras of any medication you or a family member may need, and plan ahead when grocery shopping to pick up any over-the-counter medications you will want to have with you. In the same vein, don’t forget to pack a First Aid Kit.
  • Do you have to check in with and prepare for the care of an elderly family member? If Grandma is in a facility, make sure to check in with staff members about what the facility’s emergency and evacuation plan is. Register your senior loved ones on the Vulnerable Population Registry  so that emergency workers may reach them if you cannot.
  • What are your plans for your business documents? How about for your business’ property?


Step 3: Put your plan on paper

Download and fill out this family emergency plan or use it as a guide to create your own.


Step 4: Practice your plan with your family

Ensure all your family members, even the youngest, know what to do when a disaster occurs. Practice the plan several times and don’t forget to let extended family know your plan and how they can reach you if a hurricane hits.

 

If a disaster does occur, after you make sure everyone is safe and you inform your loved ones you are okay, call us at 866-345-2033 with any questions about insurance coverage or property damage claims.

CNBC: Fighting Back When Your Insurance Claim is Denied

Guest Author Blog: Jay Feinman, the author of DELAY, DENY, DEFEND: Why Insurance Companies Don’t Pay Claims – And What You Can Do About It.
Insurance companies basically sell security. A consumer is willing to pay insurance premiums in the expectation that if something bad happens—a house burns down, a car crashes—the company will pay for the loss that otherwise might financially ruin the consumer.
But insurance companies increasingly fail to honor their promise of security.

Insurance Companies Sacrifice Customers for Profit

On December 13, 2011, The Huffington Post published an article all policyholders should read. The title of the article is, Insurance Claim Delays Deliver Massive Profits To Industry By Shorting Customers, and it reports how the insurance industry is making money by delaying, or denying, valid claims made by the customers they are supposed to protect. It highlights how the insurance industry has shifted from a service industry to an industry that is drive by corporate profit and loyalty to shareholders.