Suppose you and your family decide to stay at home when a hurricane is predicted. In that case, it’s likely that your usual forms of receiving news — TV, online news sites, and newspapers — are likely to be unavailable for periods ranging from a few hours to several days.
That is why, according to Galen M. Hair, Founder of the New Orleans-based Insurance Claim HQ, you need to be prepared and have the necessary items in place to keep up with the latest emergency news and urgent alerts during and after a hurricane.
Hair recommends preparing these items at the beginning of hurricane season and keeping them ready to go at any moment throughout the season.
The expert property insurance attorney has been helping clients recover after hurricanes for a decade. The firm he opened in 2020, Insurance Claim HQ, exclusively assists people who have had their insurance claims staled, denied, or lowballed after hurricanes, fires, and any number of circumstances.
“Unfortunately, it’s very normal. Insurance companies are businesses designed to profit from your premiums. So when they get your claim, they only consider how to impact their bottom lines the least. If they can get away with paying you less than you deserve, they will,” Hair said.
In just a few short years, he has assisted more than 1,200 families and six churches get what they are owed by insurance companies after unfortunate situations.
A Helping Hand
Hair has been helping people recover for years in both his professional and personal life. He fell in love with New Orleans and its people when he went to the city to volunteer after Hurricane Katrina. He relocated to the historic location to continue to help its residents.
Hurricane Zeta hit his own home in 2020, so he is especially empathetic to those who have their own homes ravaged by storms.
He and his team even traveled to Fort Myers, Florida, last month to assist victims of Hurricane Ian. As part of their disaster response efforts, they purchased, distributed, and plated food for storm victims from the American Legion post in Port Charlotte.
Despite all the disasters that Hair has seen over the years, he admitted he’d never seen a post-hurricane site quite like this one.
“As we drove closer to the coast, it was easy to see where Mother Nature’s fury created catastrophic damage. Some neighborhoods were filled with snapped or uprooted trees in numbers we’re not used to seeing. We saw roads wiped away and destroyed by the massive storm surge that the Category 4 storm brought on,” Hair recalled.
He was surprised that so many people he spoke to were unaware of what was written in their homeowner’s policy, or they’d been recently reviewing it and realized they didn’t understand the confusing language in the company.
And he was deeply moved by the resilience of the people he met in Florida. “Many of them had no home to go back to or were living in not the most suitable conditions at home. But their strength in the face of disaster was unparalleled,” he noted.
Here are his best pieces of advice for ensuring you can get emergency updates and alerts after an event during hurricane season.
Hair knows that circumstances pre, during, and post-storm can change quickly. Living in a place that often suffers from extreme weather events, he has seen countless instances of alerts and updates going from ‘everything’s ok’ to ‘life threatening’ in just minutes.
He warns that most of your regular news sources may not be available due to power outages, mail delivery pauses, TV lines go down, and more.
To get those updates and know how to respond to what’s coming, you need to rely on two sources: radio and cell phone.
Cell Phone Nearby
Of course, these days, most of us are never far from our cell phones. They are our primary means of professional and social communication and a major entertainment source.
However, you’ll use your phone to get emergency updates and notifications after storms and check in with loved ones to ensure their safety.
Hair says that, far before a storm, you should be sure to have already downloaded any and all local weather apps and all local, town, and state emergency notification apps.
Since power outages are very likely, you’ll also need to have several battery packs fully charged and ready to go to charge your device and stay connected.
“Remember, cell phones often fail after storms, so you need to get one of those old-fashioned things called radios, too,” laughed Hair.
Not only do you need to have one nearby, but you also need to make sure to buy batteries for them — way more than you think you need, according to Hair — and, once everything else is out, that can keep you entertained.
He suggests keeping it on and listening to it 24/7 because it will let you know if there is a surge heading your way or other emergency circumstances you need to be aware of. It’ll tell you all you need to know and give you time to react.
If you sustain damage to your property and need the help of Hair and his team when dealing with your insurance company, Insurance Claim HQ is always ready to help.
About Galen M. Hair
Galen M. Hair, Owner at Insurance Claim HQ, is a property insurance attorney who has helped over 1200 families rebuild their homes and businesses. He has been rated a Super Lawyers Rising Star and voted one of the National Trial Lawyers Top 100. Click here to learn more about protecting your property from disaster: http://www.insuranceclaimhq.com