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Many Americans Not Fully Prepared for Natural Disasters

Source: IIABA

Posted on 28 May 2010

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Most Americans are not fully prepared in the event of a natural disaster, according to a new national survey by Trusted Choice(R) and the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big "I").

Of all survey respondents, less than 22% said they felt they are fully prepared in case of a disaster. More than half of respondents (51%) admitted they are only somewhat prepared, and more than a fifth of households (22.7%) reported that they were not prepared at all.

“Hurricane season officially begins on June 1 and other disasters can happen anytime, anywhere, as we recently saw with the devastating floods in Tennessee,” says Madelyn Flannagan, Big “I” vice president of agent development, education and research. “Lives and property are saved when people know what to do before, during and after a disaster. This national study further demonstrates that unfortunately most people are not ready in the event of a natural disaster.”

The survey further revealed that many households have not even taken the most basic steps to protect against a disaster. For example, more than two-thirds of those surveyed (67.7%) said they had not created a photo or video home inventory of their belongings. More than 40% have not assembled a disaster and emergency supplies kit in their homes. Sixty-eight percent of homeowners have not made any structural improvements or reinforcements to better protect their property from a disaster.

Of all survey participants, almost 36% said they don’t have or don’t know if they have adequate insurance coverage to help them through a disaster, and an alarming 62% say they have never discussed a complete disaster preparedness plan with an insurance agent.

”Independent insurance agents not only advise clients about insurance, but they’re disaster readiness experts,” says Robert Rusbuldt, Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) president & CEO. “It is imperative to know what your risks are and what to do in the event of a disaster. We recommend meeting with a Trusted Choice® independent insurance agent who is an expert in assessing your risks and insuring that you, your family and your home are prepared in the event of a disaster.”