LOS ANGELES, Oct. 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Mercury Insurance is urging Georgia residents to be ready for Hurricane Michael, which is projected to make landfall on the Florida Panhandle. The hurricane is gaining strength as it moves toward the Gulf Coast and residents should be prepared to leave quickly and follow evacuation orders. Mercury customers can report losses and damages through the claims hotline at (800) 503-3724.
"Hurricanes are extremely dangerous and Georgians should take evacuation orders seriously," says Mercury Insurance Chief Claims Officer Randy Petro. "These storms can cause severe damage, so it's extremely important for residents to be properly prepared.
"The Mercury Insurance claims team is ready to respond quickly to our customers' requests for help. Whether it's providing living expenses if they need to evacuate their home or facilitating claims, we're committed to providing Mercury policyholders with the assistance they need."
Georgians should prepare for heavy rain, wind and flooding. Disaster preparedness is essential to preventing injuries and property damage from violent and deadly storms, and Mercury Insurance is offering these evacuation tips to help prepare families for the coming hurricane.
1. Arrange your evacuation ahead of time. Plan where you will go in the event of an evacuation. Create an evacuation kit with a list of phone numbers and addresses. Your kit should include a map and a GPS—in case street signs are blown down. Remember to include family pets in your plans.
2. Plan what to take. Prepare an evacuation kit that includes essentials, such as medicines and comfort items like children's toys or books. Your kit should also include these kinds of items:
- Bottled water (one gallon per person per day for at least three days)
- Clothing and beddings (sleeping bags and pillows)
- Flashlight, battery-powered radio and extra batteries
- Special items for infants, children, elderly or disabled family members
- Computer hard drive or lap top
Smartphone chargers and power packs
- Pet food, water and other items for pets (litter boxes, leashes, vaccination records, current photo of your pet)
- Properly identify your pet with identification tags or microchips
- Make sure your vehicle's fuel tank is full and park it facing out
3. Gather important documents. Organize important documents in two groups: essential and basic. Original copies of essential documents should be stored offsite in a safe deposit box or password protected cloud storage account. Basic documents should be added to your evacuation kit, which should be brought with you.
- Birth and marriage certificates
- Social Security cards
- Wills, living trusts and grant deeds
- Mortgage papers
- Stocks, bonds and other negotiable certificates
- Credit card numbers
Basic documents (add these to your evacuation kit)
- Checklist of what's in your evacuation kit; in a container that is waterproof and fireproof
- Drivers license or other personal identification
- Insurance policies
- Employment information and copies of pay stubs for the past two months
- Bank, savings and retirement account numbers
- Mortgage papers (copy)
- Recent tax returns
- Home inventory (copy with photos of expensive items)
- List of important phone numbers and addresses
4. Create a home inventory. Establish a complete home inventory of your personal property. Take video of your home to catalog all property. Well-documented home inventories can help expedite the claims process, as well as substantiate losses for income tax purposes.
5. Reinforce your home. Close shutters or use plywood to board up windows and doors. Secure outdoor furniture, potted plants and other items that could become projectiles during the storm.
6. Be aware of flood zones in your area when leaving. Hurricanes can cause high winds, flying debris and flash flooding. Get out of town and go to higher ground. Leave as soon as possible.
Here are a few more things you can do to prepare for a hurricane.
Additional hurricane preparedness resources:
NOAA National Weather Service: www.weather.gov/safety.php
American Red Cross: www.redcross.org/getprepared
Federal Emergency Management Agency: www.ready.gov
ABOUT MERCURY INSURANCE
Mercury Insurance (MCY) is a multiple-line insurance organization predominantly offering personal automobile, homeowners and commercial insurance through a network of independent agents in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia. Since 1962, Mercury has specialized in offering quality insurance at affordable prices. For more information visit www.mercuryinsurance.com or Facebook and follow the company on Twitter.
SOURCE Mercury Insurance