Insurance Safety Department shares hurricane plan

Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 12:51 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - As hurricane Ian picks up strength in the Atlantic, strong winds and heavy rain could cause damage in some parts of Georgia.

Now, safety officials are offering tips to ensure you and your family are ready for anything.

“We’re tracking the storm, we’re talking to GEMA almost hourly,” said Insurance and Safety Commissioner John King.

King says you can never be over-prepared for a first alert weather event.

“Especially in areas where we see significant damage, we will have our employees, post-storm, going into the areas to help people navigate this complicated space of claims and dealing with obviously damages.”

In recent years, Georgia has been spared the brunt of many severe weather events.

“We’ve had so many near misses in Georgia, we’ve been so lucky for so long, I’m afraid that we’re building a lot of complacencies.”

This is why he says now is the time to get this message out as fast as possible.

“What I’m asking people to do is review and look at your documents that aren’t easily replaceable, digitize them, take pictures of them, put them on the cloud, have a backup. It’s important to also have a discussion with your family about if we have to evacuate, this is what we will take, this is where we will go. Make sure your vehicles are prepared with fuel, with batteries, with a radio,” King advises.

However, once the storm has passed, he says if you aren’t careful, you could still find yourself a victim.

“They’re getting these folks, I call them locust, they come in hours after the storm, not even enough time for a community to get their feet on the ground. Once they show up they basically are saying hey we will come and remove the tree and we will file for the insurance company, and of course, they are giving estimates that are way over the standard pricing for the community,” King said.

If you find yourself with a tree on your roof or car, they say it’s best to contact the Commissioner’s Office of Insurance Safety Fire at 800-656-2298.