For Immediate Release: June 20, 2020
Contact: Katie Geer 803-737-5913 or 803-767-3331
SCDOI Helps Consumers Prepare with Free Starter Emergency Kits
Bluffton, S.C. – Today, the South Carolina Department of Insurance (SCDOI) marked the beginning of hurricane season by handing out 200 starter emergency kits to consumers at the Home Depot in Bluffton, South Carolina.
Emergency kits are an essential part of storm readiness for every family and should include non-perishable food, water, medications, important papers (such as insurance policies) and other supplies that would be needed during and after a storm.
“For eight years, we have been proud to partner with Home Depot and the insurance industry to help our citizens prepare for the start of hurricane season,” said Ray Farmer, Director of the SCDOI. “While the need to social distance made today’s event a little different, we felt it was important to remind our coastal residents that hurricanes won’t wait for a pandemic to end. By giving people a start with essential preparedness items, we hope to encourage them to complete their readiness for what is predicted to be a very busy storm season.”
The starter emergency kits were packaged in a Home Depot utility bucket and included the South Carolina Emergency Management Division 2020 Hurricane Guide, a flashlight with batteries, a waterproof folder for important documents, a copy of the SCDOI’s storm readiness guide, first aid kit, weather radio, gloves, masks, whistle, tarp, rope, duct tape and hand sanitizer. The SCDOI partnered with Home Depot, the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of South Carolina, members of the South Carolina Insurance Association and USAA to furnish the emergency kits.
“Advance planning will be especially important this year as COVID-19 could potentially complicate evacuations and what items are available for your disaster kits,” noted Russ Dubisky, Executive Director of the South Carolina Insurance Association.
The Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of South Carolina (IIABSC) and USAA stressed that consumers should conduct an annual review of their insurance coverages as a part of being storm ready.
“We are very proud to partner with the SC Department of Insurance in this annual event and encourage consumers to review their readiness for a potential storm. This should include an insurance review with your insurance agent or company,” said Frank Sheppard, President of IIABSC.
Elizabeth Gulick, USAA’s Vice President of Catastrophe, added that “USAA encourages everyone to make a plan today. Part of that plan to ensure your financial security is to complete an insurance checkup. Know what your insurance covers and understand your risk. USAA.com/help has resources for the public to use to help prepare for hurricane season.”
The 2020 hurricane season is predicted to be a busy one and consumers and business owners are urged to be storm ready. A great way to do that is to review your insurance policies so there are no surprises about what is or isn’t covered when it’s time to file a claim. Filling out a home inventory of personal items can also help speed up the claims process in the event of a disaster. For more information on becoming storm ready and items needed to start building your own emergency kit, visit the SCDOI’s Hurricane Preparedness webpage at doi.sc.gov/stormready to download and print the newly published preparedness guide “Are You Storm Ready?”