Consumers Aren’t Adequately Prepared for a Natural Disaster, Mercury Insurance Finds

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Seventy-seven percent of survey respondents don’t regularly practice – or even have – an evacuation plan

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"... Although natural disasters are in the news on a seemingly regular basis, many Americans still aren’t properly preparing themselves if one happens in their neighborhood or city. These events can have serious repercussions and adopting a wait-and-see attitude should not be an option.”

Despite the frequency of wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes and other natural disasters ravaging the U.S., a recent survey conducted by Mercury Insurance (NYSE: MCY) revealed that fewer than half (45%) of the respondents are prepared if one happens where they live.

“It’s a bit alarming to discover that, although natural disasters are in the news on a seemingly regular basis, many Americans still aren’t properly preparing themselves if one happens in their neighborhood or city,” said Christopher O’Rourke, vice president of property claims at Mercury Insurance. “These events can have serious repercussions and adopting a wait-and-see attitude should not be an option.”

Mercury surveyed nearly 2,000 respondents to gauge their level of preparedness, including if they have created and practice an evacuation plan, have adequate insurance coverage if their property were to be damaged or destroyed in a disaster, keep an inventory of their belongings in case they need to be replaced, and keep a stocked emergency kit. Seventy-seven percent of the quiz-takers either don’t have a plan or don’t regularly practice it if they do. Additionally, 39% are unsure if they have enough insurance to rebuild if their home is damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster, 34% don’t have a home inventory, and 13% didn’t realize their insurance policy covers their personal belongings. The vast majority (88%) of respondents, however, do have an emergency kit in their home.

Only 9% of respondents rated as “extremely prepared” after completing the nine-question quiz.

O’Rourke has the following recommendations to help consumers prepare for a natural disaster.

  • Create an evacuation plan. Know where family members will meet if instructed to evacuate, as well as several options to get out of the city in case routes are blocked. Establish a meeting point ahead of time. Staying with friends or family who live outside of the local area is a good option, but you should also research hotels and shelters.
  • Stock an emergency kit. If you are unable to stay with family or friends out of town, or you were unable to evacuate, be sure to keep the following items handy:
  • A three-day supply of water (one gallon per person), non-perishable food items and pet food, if applicable;
  • A battery-powered or hand-crank radio (and extra batteries);
  • A flashlight;
  • A first aid kit;
  • A whistle to signal for help;
  • A can opener;
  • Blankets;
  • Tools to turn off utilities;
  • $200 in cash in small bills, as power may be out, making ATMs, debit and credit cards unusable;
  • Fully charged battery packs so you can recharge your cell phone; and
  • Prescriptions for you and your pets.
  • Review your insurance policy. Discuss your coverage needs with your agent at least once a year to ensure you have enough to protect your property and belongings.

Visit Mercury’s Catastrophe Center to learn more about how to protect yourself, your family and your property before a natural disaster happens.

About Mercury Insurance
Mercury Insurance (MCY) is a multiple-line insurance organization predominantly offering personal automobile, homeowners and commercial insurance through a network of independent agents in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia. Since 1962, Mercury has specialized in offering quality insurance at affordable prices. For more information visit http://www.mercuryinsurance.com or Facebook and follow the company on Twitter.

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Wendi Sheridan
PCG
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