AAA polls finds 42 percent unprepared for hurricanes

On June 1, which marks the beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season, AAA released a new survey that shows that 42 percent of Florida and Georgia residents do not prepare for hurricanes and other tropical weather in advance. The poll also indicated that 18 percent of residents admitted they don’t leave their homes when evacuation warnings are issued for named storms, and 49 percent said they would only leave for a hurricane rated category three or higher.

A representative for AAA said the insurer is concerned by the survey results and stressed that residents should “stay vigilant and be prepared” for major storms. Before a major weather event strikes, the company suggests residents secure and inspect their home and make a video recording of their property and possessions. It is also recommended that people develop an emergency communication and evacuation plan with family members, stock emergency supplies like food, water, batteries and first aid kits and review their insurance policies to ensure their valuables are covered.

Even though floods are the top natural disaster in the U.S., only one in five Florida and Georgia residents have flood insurance policies. As little as two inches of water can cause $21,000 or more in damage to a 2,000 square foot home. If homeowners choose to purchase a preferred risk flood insurance policy, AAA said that there is typically a 30-day waiting period for the policy to take effect, so residents should not wait until the last minute to upgrade their insurance.

Any Florida resident who has had a hurricane damage claim denied by their insurance company may wish to consult with an attorney. After reviewing the case, a lawyer may be able to assist a homeowner in getting the insurance settlement they need to properly repair or replace their property.