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TDCI Shares Safety, Preparedness Tips Ahead of Hurricane Florence

Department Advises Tennesseans to be Prepared as Florence Moves Inland
Thursday, September 13, 2018 | 07:22am

NASHVILLE – As residents of the Carolinas and Virginia evacuate ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Florence, the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) is sharing safety reminders to ensure Tennesseans are prepared for the residual rainfall, potential flash flooding, power outages and high winds that Florence will likely bring to the areas in its path.

Forecasters predict Florence will have a major impact inland dowsing the region with heavy rains and wind gusts impacting eastern and middle Tennessee. Additionally, residents traveling on Interstate 40 or Interstate 75 this weekend should expect delays as more evacuations are issued. Additionally, tornadoes and flooding could also be created by this major storm.

“Tennessee’s proximity to the path of this dangerous hurricane means our residents could potentially be affected by heavy rains and winds,” said TDCI Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak. “While it is impossible to predict this storm’s impact, we urge consumers to start preparing now so they will be ready for a worst-case scenario, if it develops.”

To help prepare consumers, TDCI shares the following tips:

  • Make sure you have bottled water, a first-aid kit, flashlights, a battery-powered radio, non-perishable food items, blankets, clothing, prescription drugs, eyeglasses, personal hygiene supplies, a cell phone charger or solar charge, and a small amount of cash as well as ATM and debit cards.
  • Be informed of local weather broadcasts. Have multiple ways to receive weather information and warnings, including some that don’t require electricity, like a weather radio.
  • Do not drive or walk through high water. Remember: Turn Around, Don’t Drown.
  • Do not attempt to move any downed power lines.
  • For personal safety, identify what storm shelter is available to your family and prepare an evacuation plan. Choose two meeting places: one right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, such as a fire; and one outside your neighborhood in case you can’t return home.
  • If you need to evacuate your home, turn off all utilities and disconnect appliances to reduce the chance of additional damage and electrical shock when utilities are restored.
  • If you are without power and using a fuel-powered generator to supply electricity, remember that generators should be used in a well-ventilated location outdoors away from any windows, doors and vent openings.
  • Never use a gas generator inside your home, garage, carport, basement or crawlspace. Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector.
  • When possible, use a flashlight—not a candle—for emergency lighting. Remember to have extra batteries on hand.
  • If you use candles, ensure they are contained in a sturdy holder and placed them at least 12 inches from anything that can burn.
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended. Extinguish candles when you leave a room or the home or go to bed.
  • Beware of price gouging during emergency situations. To report price gouging or to file a complaint, visit our website.
  • Keep a readily available list of 24-hour contact information for your insurance agent and insurance company.
  • Make a list that includes your policy numbers (both home and auto), your insurance company and insurance agent's phone numbers, website addresses and mailing addresses. Also, check to see if the company or your agent has set up an emergency information hotline, in case of storm damage. It is a good idea to store this information, and a home inventory, in a waterproof/fireproof safe or a safe deposit box. Also consider sending an electronic copy to someone you trust or storing it on a device that is always with you, like a phone. If you have to evacuate your home, you want this information to be easily available to you.
  • A home inventory can be invaluable when deciding how much insurance your life situation requires to adequately insure your home in the path of a natural disaster. Digital tools such as the National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s MyHome Scr.APP.book lets you quickly capture images and descriptions of your belongings to help determine how much insurance you need and for filing a claim. For those without a smart phone, the NAIC offers a downloadable home inventory checklist and tips for effectively cataloguing your possessions. Both are available at http://home.insureuonline.org.

To donate or volunteer, contact the voluntary or charitable organization of your choice through the National Voluntary Agencies Active in Disasters (NVOAD) at www.nvoad.org.

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