Allstate Warns Against Hurricane Amnesia

Start of Hurricane Season Means Preparedness

NORTHBROOK, IL May 29, 2002 — The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30 and hurricane experts are warning the public against “hurricane amnesia”. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, it has been two years since a hurricane has hit the U.S. coast. “Despite the incredible devastation these storms can cause, it is easy for people to forget the awesome power of a hurricane,” said Les Mertins, manager of Allstate Insurance Company’s National Catastrophe Team. “The reality is that we’ve been extremely lucky the past two years and Allstate wants to make sure your home and family are prepared.”

NOAA hurricane watchers are predicting up to thirteen possible tropical storms in the Atlantic this season, and they say eight of these storms could become hurricanes. Allstate suggests that the beginning of hurricane season is a good time to make sure you are financially and physically prepared for a storm. “Waiting until a hurricane watch or warning is issued may be too late for some easy steps that could help make evacuation and recovery much easier on you and your family,” Mertins said.

13 Things You Can Do Now…

Prepare a disaster supplies kit including:

A three-day supply of water and ready-to-eat non-perishable foods.

Manual can opener.

Paper plates, cups and disposable utensils.

Personal hygiene items such as toilet paper, towelettes, feminine supplies, soap, and detergent.

Change of clothing, including extra shoes or work boots and rain gear.

Blankets and/or sleeping bags (one for each family member).

Special needs items for each family member such as baby supplies, eyeglasses/contact lenses, medications.

Cash, traveler’s checks or credit card.

Organize important paperwork in waterproof, easily transportable containers. Include financial information, important phone numbers, wills, insurance policies, immunization records and passports. Plan to take these with you if evacuated.

Prepare an inventory of your personal property and videotape your household contents for record purposes.

Teach family members when and how to safely shut off utilities.

Trim dead or weak branches from trees.

Review your insurance policies to ensure you have adequate coverage.

Consider purchasing flood insurance, even if you don’t live in a flood hazard zone. Regular homeowner’s policies usually do not cover flood damage. So, plan ahead because flood policies have a 30-day waiting period prior to being effective.

Get familiar with your community’s disaster preparedness plan and develop a family disaster response plan.

Contact your local American Red Cross Chapter or Emergency Management Agency for a community evacuation route map and a list of nearby shelters.

Assure that emergency lights and flashlights are in proper working order.

Keep portable and battery-operated weather radios with extra batteries readily available.

Keep several flashlights and extra batteries easily accessible.

Assemble a first-aid kit — include medications such as aspirin, non-aspirin pain reliever, antacid and anti-diarrhea medication. Also include bandages, gauze, scissors, safety pins and sunscreen.

Allstate (NYSE: ALL) is the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer. Widely known through the “You’re In Good Hands With AllstateР’В®” slogan, Allstate provides insurance products to more than 14 million households and has approximately 13,000 exclusive agents in the U.S. and Canada. Customers can access Allstate products and services through Allstate agents, or in select states at and 1-800-AllstateSM. EncompassSM and DeerbrookSM Insurance brand property and casualty products are sold exclusively through independent agents. Allstate Financial Group includes the Allstate Bank and businesses that provide life insurance, retirement and investment products, through Allstate agents, workplace marketing, independent agents, banks and securities firms.


Bill Mellander

Allstate National Media Relations