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Hurricane warnings have been issued. What should you do?

08/26/2011

LINCOLN, RI – Hurricane warnings have been posted along the East Coast, warning people to prepare for Hurricane Irene. This means hurricane conditions are expected within the next 24 hours, so it’s important to take immediate action to protect your family and your home.

"Secure your home and yard as much as possible,” said Ted Murphy, superintendent of claims for Amica Insurance. “Bring lawn furniture, ornaments and toys inside. Secure grills, roofs, windows, doors, garage doors and any other areas that are susceptible to wind damage. If you have time, trim any dead or hanging tree branches.”

It’s also important to make sure you have emergency supplies of food and water, as well as a list of phone numbers for local police, fire and rescue services, Murphy said.

"If your area is under a hurricane warning, watch for evacuation orders,” Murphy said. “Follow posted evacuation routes and review your evacuation plan with family, friends and neighbors so they know how to reach you after the storm. If anyone in your family has special needs or disabilities, alert local authorities for assistance.”

Amica offers the following tips from federal and state emergency agencies:

  • Check your emergency supply kit. Make sure you have food and water supplies to last at least a week. Fill sinks, tubs and other clean containers with water for drinking and hygiene. Stock up on canned foods, dry goods and other nonperishables.
  • Charge your cell phone and have access to a noncordless phone.
  • Fill your car with gas.
  • Check for safety hazards around your yard and home.
  • Gather and secure important papers.
  • Make sure you have cash on hand.
  • Protect family valuables, especially photographs and computer files.
  • Don’t forget your pets. Make sure you have plenty of food and water for them.

"When the hurricane strikes, get to a safe area immediately,” Murphy said. “Most hurricane-related injuries are caused by flying debris. To protect yourself and your family, the following tips are important to remember during the storm.”

  • Do not go outside until local authorities alert you it is safe to do so.
  • Monitor the radio, television or web for updates.
  • Stay away from all windows and exterior doors.
  • Turn off all utilities.
  • Prepare to evacuate if your home is damaged or if you are told by emergency personnel to leave.
  • Make arrangements for your pet to stay at a local kennel or animal shelter, especially if you may have to evacuate your home. Most public shelters do not accept pets for health reasons.

Never disregard hurricane warnings and evacuation orders, Murphy said. “If you’re ordered to evacuate, do so immediately. Your number-one concern should always be the safety of you and your family.”

Also, don’t forget to register on the Safe and Well site on disastersafe.redcross.org, a website that people can check to see if their family members are okay. You can access this at www.redcross.org or by calling 800-REDCROSS (800-733-2767).

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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