Winter Storm Emergency Planning

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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 warm coat, mittens or gloves, a hat and water-resistant boots.
  • Assemble a disaster supplies 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 before winter storm season begins.
  • Keep your car’s gas tank full for emergency use and to keep the fuel line from freezing.
  • Take a first aid class from 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 as soon as possible.
  • Make temporary repairs to prevent further damage.
  • Delay permanent repairs until your insurer approves reimbursement.
  • Get any necessary construction permits from your community.
  • Keep all receipts.
  • Prepare an inventory of all damaged or destroyed personal 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.

Information provided courtesy of Independent Insurance Agents of America

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