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Changing Travel Plans, Protecting Property in Hurricane’s Path
AAA Offers Tips to Be Safe and Minimize Property Damage
With Hurricane Florence gaining strength and taking aim at the East Coast, AAA is reminding Connecticut residents who may have travel plans - or property - in the storm’s path to take precautions with safety as priority one. The potential impact of the storm has already prompted Governors in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina to declare states of emergency. Mandatory evacuations have been ordered in some coastal towns and many airlines are waiving change fees for cities in the hurricane’s path.
“Even though Connecticut is not expected to be in the eye of the storm, it is still disrupting travel for people who live here and, of course, it’s also a cause of great concern for those who have a second home or property that could sustain serious damage”, says Suzanne Aresco, Director of AAA Travel. “AAA is helping our clients explore their options and change plans as necessary”.
AAA is encouraging anyone not working with a travel advisor to call their airline, hotel and/or tour company to inquire as to what changes can be made without penalty and also to review any travel insurance policy to understand coverage details.
AAA offers the following Travel and Home/Car Insurance tips in advance of the hurricane:
AAA Hurricane Preparedness Tips
- Safety. Will your trip take you in the path of the storm? Will your personal safety be at risk?
- Contact your travel agent – they will have access to the latest travel updates/cancellations and can help you explore all of the options available to you.
- Investigate cancellation/rebooking options NOW. (Plan ahead, understand the situation may change quickly as the storm approaches.)
- Understand cancellation requirements and penalties if applicable.
- Know what coverage any purchased travel insurance does/does not provide.
- Continuously monitor the situation as things can change quickly and dramatically.
If you have property in the path of the storm:
- Sign up for emergency weather/news alerts via email/text (e.g. National Weather Service).
- Obey evacuation orders
- Stock an emergency kit for you/your family for at least several days (battery-operated/hand-cranked radio, flashlight, and a phone that isn’t dependent on electricity; extra batteries, cell phone chargers, first aid supplies and medications; water supply, non-perishable food and a manual can opener on hand).
- Update your home inventory, on paper or with a camera/smartphone. Note the replacement costs for your most valuable items, then talk to your insurance agent or insurance customer service to be sure you have the right coverage.
- Don’t forget your pets. Have a secure location for your pet and an emergency supply kit, as well as medical records and medication.
- Check gas, tire pressure, windshield wipers, lights, etc.
- Pack vehicle emergency kit.
- Review emergency evacuation route (if needed).
- Charge cell phones.
- Heed local travel/driving warnings and/or restrictions.
- Slow down, increase following distances.
- Turn around, don’t drown! NEVER drive through standing water. Flooding can occur quickly and without warning.
While making sure your home is covered for storm damage is important, keeping yourself and your family safe during a storm is more important.
The following emergency supplies should always be kept on hand:
- Canned food items and bottled water
- Flashlights with extra batteries
- A battery-operated radio
- Sheets and blankets
- Essential prescription medications
- Emergency cash
- Stock a cooler with ice
- Keep the freezer door closed as long as possible
- Keep what cold air you have inside the freezer – do not open the door any more than necessary. A full freezer should stay at freezing temperatures about two days; a half-full freezer about one day. If your freezer is not full, group packages so they form an "igloo" to protect each other.
An emergency evacuation plan should be in place for every member of the household.
Identify the nearest storm shelter, and suggest a meeting point should family members get separated.
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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 58 million members nationwide and more than one million members in Connecticut. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.aaa.com.