LAKELAND, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hurricane Matthew has already caused Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas to declare state of emergency measures be put in place, and GEICO is assigning catastrophe teams to handle what may be the impact of direct hits to those states and further up the coast.
GEICO is encouraging residents to heed all warnings from official emergency agencies and prepare for flooding, falling objects and wind.
Some important things to keep in mind now as the storm approaches the U.S.:
- Plan an evacuation route – If you are using your car for an evacuation, carefully plan your route, designate a family meeting spot and always keep a full tank of gas
- Protect your home – Window shutters, trimmed trees, filled holes and secure roofing will improve your home’s resistance to damage from high winds and water. If you live in an area prone to flooding, move your valuables to a safer location in your residence.
- Create a disaster supply kit – Make sure you have essential items such as non-perishable food, water, first-aid kits, batteries, blankets, flashlights, a battery-powered radio and all necessary medicine/prescriptions.
- Update your home inventory list – Maintain an up-to-date list of all the items in your home. Take photos of valuables such as electronics and jewelry. In the event that damage occurs due to a natural disaster, maintaining a home inventory will help speed up the claims process.
- Safeguard your important documents – Store your social security cards, birth certificates, IDs, insurance cards, and other important documents in a safe, fire-proof and water-resistant location.
- Protect your vehicles – Think seriously about moving your vehicles – cars, boats, RVs, etc. – inland. In many cases parking garages or other public spaces could offer sufficient protection to help prevent flood damage.
- Follow official instructions – Check the local and national weather forecasts for advisories, updates and official instructions. Be prepared to put your preparedness plan in place immediately after an alert goes out.
“We sincerely hope you are not significantly impacted by the storm,” said Ryan West, vice president of GEICO claims. “But if you are, we encourage you to report your loss immediately on the GEICO mobile app, at GEICO’s Claim Center or by calling 1-800-841-3000 24-hours a day.” GEICO commercial vehicle policyholders can report losses at 1-866-509-9444.