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Insurance Adjuster Discusses Disaster Preparations

More than two weeks into the 2014 Hurricane Season, officials wonder if we’d be ready for another big storm. A new survey shows attitudes about natural disasters leave a lot to be desired

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The survey commissioned by Allstate Insurance, found that while the majority of Americans have been through natural disasters and the damage caused by them, one in three of those surveyed said they would still take their chances if another severe storm was approaching. Mark McGillivray is the company’s senior claims adjuster.

“We did find that people are aware that natural disasters have been increasing over the years, said McGillivray . 92 percent have actually lived through one, but we are I would say, woefully unprepared in many parts of the country, including in Texas.”

But when it comes to taking action in advance, not everyone wants to do that, and

“I think there is a little bit of denial that ‘well it doesn’t really happen here, said McGillivray. If you go a number of years without experiencing a disaster, sometimes it’s not at the forefront. But there is some good news in that, as people have seen some of the high profile events, they are starting to take a little bit more action than they were maybe two years ago.”

McGilvree says one of the things that stood out in the survey was people’s good intentions, but poor follow-through.

“40 percent of those surveyed have thought about an evacuation plan so, that’s good news, said McGillivray. People are thinking about it, but only eight percent have practiced it. So, you’d want the whole family aware of what to do in case of emergency, where your emergency kit is located, and if the family does get separated, who out of the area is going to be the contacts and everyone can get in touch with.”

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett says during hurricane season, the mindset should be common sense.

“I use the analogy over and over and over, If you live in Minnesota or someplace like that, you know you’re going to have ice and snow and so, you get ready for it. We don’t know for sure we’re gonna have a hurricane but we just need to assume we are, and that’s our big danger, said Emmett. We don’t have a lot of danger from ice and snow in the winter, but in the summer, our danger is hurricanes.”

He says knowing whether you live in an area that’s likely to be affected by a storm surge will determine whether you need to evacuate and plan accordingly.

“If you dont, then you need to be prepared to ride out the storm. And so  that means you have to have battery-operated radio, you have to have foodstuffs that you can eat without electricity, those kind of things, said Emmett. But the main thing is, know what your danger is, know what your risk is.”

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