Jana Tidwell
Public Relations Manager, PA
O: (302) 299-4426
C: (302) 353-6563
jtidwell@aaamidatlantic.com

Kathleen Zinszer
Sr. Public Aff. Specialist, PA/DE
O: (302) 299-4168
C: (610) 291-7312
KZinszer@aaamidatlantic.com

AAA Mid-Atlantic: Prepare Now, as Hurricane Florence Takes Aim at East Coast

Prepare for the worst and hope for the best – travelers, homeowners and motorists should use the next few days wisely.

PHILADELPHIA, PA (September 10, 2018) Hurricane season peaks today (September 10), just as Hurricane Florence is gaining strength and taking aim at the East Coast.  The path of Hurricane Florence is almost certain to pose a serious danger for the U.S. East Coast where a direct hit is increasingly likely by mid- to late week.  A hurricane of this predicted magnitude could cause heavy rainfall and bring strong winds that could knock down trees, power lines and cause widespread flooding.

The Delaware Valley may not take a direct hit from Hurricane Florence, however the area is likely to feel the Category 3 storm’s impact.  Travelers, homeowners, vacation home owners, and motorists should take the time to prepare now for the potential impacts of the storm.  Strong winds, heavy rains and flooding could cause havoc for travel plans, property and driving ability.

“Hurricanes are not always top of mind for Delaware Valley residents, however it appears as though we will feel the effects of Hurricane Florence in our area, though the exact impact is not yet clear,” says Jana L. Tidwell, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Now is the time to prepare.  AAA urges travelers, homeowners, vacation/rental home owners, and motorists to take the next few days to prepare for the potential disruption and devastation a storm of this magnitude can cause.”

AAA Hurricane Preparedness Tips

Travel Considerations:

  • 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.

Homeowner/Renter Considerations:

  • Sign up for emergency weather/news alerts via email/text (e.g. National Weather Service)
  • 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.
  • Make sure you have the insurance coverage you need. Flooding is generally not covered by a standard homeowners insurance, and separate flood policies require a 30-day waiting period before coverage takes effect.
  • Don’t forget your pets. Have a secure location for your pet and an emergency supply kit, as well as medical records and medication.

Rental/Vacation Homeowner Considerations:

Brace Your Home for Storm Damage

  • Prepare your home before the storm arrives. If you cannot be there, contact the property manager or a trusted neighbor.
  • Install storm shutters or board up windows with plywood panels.
  • Secure all loose items such as barbecues and patio furniture on and around the property.
  • Clean gutters so they can handle heavy rains.
  • Update your home inventory list and preserve multiple copies.
  • If evacuation is needed, turn off all utilities and disconnect any electrical items in the home. Water and electricity don’t mix, so any device left connected is a potential fire hazard.

After the Storm

  • Have the property manager or neighbor photograph and document the damage.
  • File a claim with your insurance company as soon as possible. The earlier you file a home insurance claim, the faster it will be processed. Know the timeframe for filing a claim.Incomplete or inaccurate information can result in a delayed claim.Make sure you have all necessary paperwork in-hand when contacting your home insurance company.
  • Store undamaged property in a protected place if possible.
  • Be present when the adjuster inspects your damage. If you cannot be present, designate a representative such as a property manager or neighbor to be in attendance.

Motorist Considerations:

  • Check gas tank, 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.

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Mailing Address:
7777 Brewster Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19159

AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 57 million members nationwide and more than three million members in Pennsylvania.  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.

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