If a storm should strike Gulf Coast, VIG Texas may not be able to function as usual. We would like to offer you the following suggestions to make sure your claim is handled in a timely and efficient manner and you can access all of the information you may need.
1. Locate your insurance policies and keep them in a safe place that you can easily access in the event of catastrophe. Check the policies to see if the damage to your property is below your deductible. This will determine if you need to file a claim.
2. If your property or auto is damaged, take pictures and make temporary repairs to prevent further damage until an adjuster arrives.
3. To file a claim contact the toll free claims number on your policy. Keep the number with your policies. If you can not find the number please call our office and we can provide it for you beforehand.
Hurricane Safety Tips for Your Car
Most people don’t think about their cars during hurricane season, but your car may just be your key to safety.
If a hurricane is severe enough, you may need to use your car to get to a safer place. Make sure your car is ready for a hurricane or a possible evacuation and that you understand how to drive in severe storm conditions.
Make sure you have a full tank of gas before a storm arrives.
Store a crate in your trunk with emergency supplies:
- A first aid kit
- Duct tape
- Jumper cables for a dead battery
- One or two blankets
- A flashlight
- bottled water
- Some sealed, shelf-stable food (like energy bars)
- Some basic tools like a screwdriver and pliers
- A couple of brightly colored cloths to tie on your rearview mirror to signal for help if you need it
Make sure you have a good spare tire.
If you’re evacuating, bring your (fully charged) cell phone.
If you’re evacuating or returning home after a hurricane, avoid driving through water.
The average car can be swept off the road by as little as 12″ of moving water. According to the National Hurricane Center, more than half of all hurricane deaths in the last 30 years have resulted from inland flooding. Of those deaths, one in four was someone who drowned in her car. Find an alternate route.
If your vehicle stalls in deep water, you may need to restart the engine to make it to safety.
Please know; however, that restarting may cause severe damage to your engine. If you can’t restart your vehicle and you become trapped in rising water, IMMEDIATELY ABANDON IT FOR HIGHER GROUND. If you’re unable to get out of the vehicle safely, call 911 or get help from a passerby or someone standing on higher ground.
After you and your vehicle are out of deep water and in a safe area, depress your brakes slowly several times to help dry them out.
And remember, if you’re evacuating an area and leaving your car behind, be sure it’s not left in a low-lying area prone to flooding. Rising water can seep in and damage your vehicle.
Hurricane Safety Tips for Your Boat
With the help of the U.S. Coast Guard and FEMA, we’ve put together some tips to help you make sure your boat is hurricane-ready.
Whether your boat is docked, anchored, or in dry storage, remember:
- Have a storm strategy and implement it well before the hurricane hits
- Designate a friend to prepare your boat if you’re out of town
- Remove non-secure items and excess gear
- Remove important documents and valuables
- Check openings to make sure they’re watertight
- Shut off your fuel tanks
- Close all thru-hull fittings
- Check that batteries are fully charged so you can run your bilge pumps during the storm
If your boat is docked, remember to double-up on chafe protection.
Also, double all lines, attaching them high on pilings to allow for a storm surge. The longer the dock lines, the better a boat will move with high and rough tides.
If your boat is anchored, do not tie it down parallel to the shore. Leave plenty of room between your boat and others and be sure to use enough line to allow for a storm surge. Consider several anchors and clear self-baling cockpit drains.
If your boat is in dry storage, store it in an area higher than the expected storm surge. Lash it to its cradle with heavy lines and consider adding water to the bilge to help hold it down. Never leave your boat on davits or on a hydro-lift.
If your boat is stored on a trailer, take some air out of the tires and secure the wheels with blocks between the frame and the axles.
Of course, the most important thing to remember is to protect yourself first. Never put yourself in danger while trying to protect your boat. Boats can be replaced, but lives can’t!
Hurricane Safety Tips for Your RV
Your RV is a valuable asset for you to protect. But it could also be your ticket to safety. Now’s the time to make sure your RV is hurricane-ready.
RVs are particularly vulnerable to hurricane-force winds and rain because of their size and high center of gravity. While RVs should not be driven or used as a shelter during severe weather, they can help you and your family evacuate if you need to.
In addition, your RV can serve as cost-effective, temporary living quarters after a storm should your primary residence be damaged or destroyed.
Here are some recommendations about how to prepare your RV for a hurricane or evacuation and some safety reminders about driving in flood-prone areas:
- Prepare an evacuation route well before a storm threatens your area.
- If you’re instructed to evacuate your neighborhood, do so without delay.
- Keep emergency supplies in your RV, including a first aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable foods, and prescription medications.
- Get a full tank of gas before a storm hits.
- Check the windshield wipers and tires.
- Pack sleeping bags and bedding in plastic bags to protect them from moisture.
- Place your auto and home insurance documents, vehicle registration, title, and other important documents in a waterproof bag and keep them with you.
- Perform a thorough safety check.
If you use gas-powered lanterns or cook stoves, be sure to have battery-operated fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to protect you and your family. If you use an electric generator, make sure you have a transfer switch to prevent electrical shocks.
Empty the holding tanks, turn off the propane cylinders, and cover the regulator.
Tie down travel trailers and ensure that the lot the trailer occupies is secure.
If you’re evacuating or returning home after a hurricane, avoid driving through moving or standing water.
If you have no other reasonable alternative than to drive through standing water, drive slowly and steadily.
If your RV stalls, you may need to restart the engine to make it to safety. (Please know, however, that restarting may cause severe damage to your engine.) If you can’t restart your RV and you become trapped in rising water, IMMEDIATELY ABANDON IT FOR HIGHER GROUND. If you’re unable to get out of the RV safely, call 911 or get help from a passerby or someone standing on higher ground.
And remember, if you’re evacuating an area and leaving your RV behind, be sure it’s not left in a low-lying area prone to flooding. Rising water can seep in and damage upholstery, carpeting, and electrical systems.