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Amica offers tips to prepare for Hurricane Irene

08/22/2011

LINCOLN, RI – Hurricane Irene is coming. Are you ready?

Hurricane Irene is the first official hurricane of the season, and forecasters say it probably won’t be the last. We’re now entering the peak of the hurricane season, and forecasters are expecting this year’s tropical storms and hurricanes will be more severe than ever.

That’s why Amica Insurance reminds everyone to prepare now – before a hurricane threatens your home and family.

“Hurricane Irene isn’t expected to hit the United States until later this week, but don’t wait until the last minute to get ready,” said Ted Murphy, superintendent of claims for Amica Insurance. “It’s important to make sure your house is ready for severe weather, and to have an emergency kit and an evacuation plan for your family.

Even if you’re not in the projected path of Hurricane Irene, remember that other storms are likely to follow – and there’s no telling where or when they will strike, Murphy said. That’s why everyone needs to act now, instead of scrambling when a hurricane warning is issued.

Here are some tips from the Amica Storm Center:

  • Prepare an emergency supply kit and stock up on nonperishable food and water.
  • Create an evacuation plan, including ways to let your family know you’re safe after a storm.
  • Compile a list of emergency numbers, including those of family members, friends and neighbors.
  • Make arrangements for your pets, especially if you may have to evacuate during a storm.
  • Plan home improvement projects that will make your home more resistant to storm damage.
  • Review your insurance policy to see if you're covered for flooding or other storm-related damage.
  • Prepare an inventory of your belongings, in case you need to file a claim.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) earlier this year predicted 12 to 18 “named” storms with winds of 39 mph or higher, of which as many as 10 could become hurricanes with winds of 74 mph or higher, including three to six “major hurricanes” with winds of at least 111 mph.

“The United States was fortunate last year. Winds steered most of the season’s tropical storms and all hurricanes away from our coastlines,” according to Jane Lubchenco, NOAA’s administrator, in a statement on the agency’s website. “However, we can’t count on luck to get us through this season. We need to be prepared, especially with this above-normal outlook.”

In fact, some forecasters are now predicting that the current hurricane season will be more active – and more severe – than initially forecast.

“Given these forecasts,” Murphy said, “it’s more important than ever to take steps now to protect yourself, your family and your home, as best you can.”

The Amica Storm Center is full of information to make sure you know what to do to protect your loved ones, your home and your pets during any storm. It includes dozens of tips and checklists for actions to take before, during and after a hurricane and other severe storms. Amica’s new mobile app also has a handy home inventory feature that anyone can use to create an inventory of his or her belongings.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) also offers tips at www.ready.gov. And, for more information on the upcoming hurricane season, visit the National Hurricane Center’s website at www.nhc.noaa.gov.

“Amica wants to remind everyone that being prepared for a hurricane is one of the most important things each of us can do," Murphy said.

About Amica

Amica Mutual Insurance Company, the nation's oldest mutual insurer of automobiles, was founded in 1907. The company, with corporate headquarters in Lincoln, RI, is a national writer of automobile, homeowners, marine and personal umbrella liability insurance. Life coverage is available through Amica Life Insurance Company, a wholly owned subsidiary. Amica employs more than 3,100 people in 40 offices across the country.

CONTACT:Vince Burks, Corporate Communications, 50 Amica Way,

Lincoln, RI 02865-1155, 800-652-6422, ext. 24563

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