15:14 PM

AAA: Safety and Insurance Tips to Help Prepare for Hurricane Idalia

CHARLOTTE, NC., (August 30, 2023) – As heavy rains and gusty winds from Hurricane Idalia move across parts of the Carolinas, insurance experts at AAA – The Auto Club Group are providing important advice to help residents prepare their families and property.

“Now is the time to gather supplies, fortify your home and document your belongings, according to our insurance experts” said Tiffany Wright, Public Affairs Director, AAA – The Auto Club Group in the Carolinas. “Our providers also recommend collecting all important documents including insurance policy information and phone numbers for your agent and provider, so you’ll know who to contact in the event you need to file a claim.”

AAA provides the following insurance advice:

  • Review your home insurance policies. Contact your provider to ensure you have adequate coverage for any damages. If you do not have flood insurance, it’s too late to get a new policy for this storm.
  • Check your auto insurance policy to ensure you have “comprehensive” coverage. This helps with vehicle damage like flooding or if a tree falls on it.
  • Store important documents in a portable waterproof container. Documents could include insurance policy information, birth certificates, social security cards, and more.
  • Take Inventory. Document your belongings by walking through your home with a video camera or smart phone. Keep a record of large purchases including the cost of the item, purchase date, and model and serial numbers.
  • Protect your home. Bring in loose items like patio furniture, bikes, and children’s toys – which could all turn into dangerous projectiles in strong winds. Trim trees near your house. Ensure you have materials to make sandbags and board up windows, if necessary.

 Develop an Evacuation Plan and Be Ready to Execute It

A 2023 survey of Carolinians  found that approximately one-in-ten (11%NC and 10%SC) would evacuate their home for a Category 2 storm or higher. A quarter or more (25%NC and 30%SC) would leave for a Category 3 hurricane or stronger.

Meanwhile, 19% of North Carolinians and 22% of South Carolinians say they’d ignore evacuation orders. The top reasons they’d stay: in case there’s damage they can repair (35%NC and 26%SC), can’t bring their pets (29%NC and 22%SC), believe the storm will turn away from their direction (13%NC and 33%SC).

AAA’s Evacuation Advice

  • Identify multiple destinations in case the storm shifts or roads are closed.
  • Reserve a hotel room early, if needed. Hotels along evacuation routes often fill up fast due to high demand. If you are traveling with pets, be advised that some properties may loosen restrictions to be more accommodating to evacuees.
  • Pack important documents like insurance policies, marriage, and birth certificates.
  • Bring enough food, water and supplies for each family member, including pets.
  • If you are evacuating, leave early. Last minute evacuees often find congested highways and long lines at filling stations, which could result in temporary fuel outages.
  • Follow the advice of local authorities and leave if instructed to.
  • Before you go, turn off all utilities and unplug every electrical item in the home, to minimize the risk of a fire.

Safety Tips for Drivers

AAA urges drivers to be patient and courteous of others on the road. Tensions are likely to be high with an approaching storm, but getting in a crash would only make matters worse.

AAA provides the following tips for drivers:

  • Leave early so you are not in a rush
  • Avoid distractions while driving
  • Slow down

When driving in the rain, AAA advises:

  • Increase your following distance
  • Turn your headlights on
  • Turn your hazard lights off
  • Avoid using cruise control
  • Avoid flooded areas
  • If visibility is poor, pull over to a safe place and wait until the rain eases up

About the AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey

The AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey was conducted online among residents living in North and South Carolina from April 20 – 27, 2023.  A total of 400 residents completed the survey.  Survey results asked of all respondents have a maximum margin of error of ± 4.9% points.  Responses are weighted by age and gender to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the adult population (18+) in the Carolinas.

About AAA - The Auto Club Group

The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America with more than 13 million members across 14 U.S. states, the province of Quebec and two U.S. territories. ACG and its affiliates provide members with roadside assistance, insurance products, banking and financial services, travel offerings and more. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 64 million members in the United States and Canada. AAA’s mission is to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve traffic safety. For more information, get the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.