Educating children about disaster preparedness is something not to be taken lightly. Preparing your child for disasters like tornadoes, floods, and fires could one day save their life, a task which many parents may find to be a little daunting. As a family who has been in the public insurance adjuster business for several decades, we have made disaster preparedness a part of our family’s everyday lives, and can provide some helpful advice when it comes to preparing yours.
How early should I teach my children about preparing for a disaster?
Disaster education should begin as soon as you choose. Even at a very young age, children are able to absorb massive amounts of information. By making disaster preparedness a part of your lifestyle, your children will more easily absorb the vital information they need to be ready. As you incorporate preparedness into your family’s lifestyle, the steps you take to stay safe and be prepared will become habitual; habits which your children will pick up.
What can I do to help them understand?
Teach them in ways that make sense to them. Use pictures and sounds. Tell it like a bedtime story. If your child can become familiar with the sights and sounds of a disaster before one occurs, the event will be less traumatic for them when they experience one. There are numerous books available to teach your children about disasters with colorful illustrations, which can help your kids associate disasters with something familiar. Remembering that their friend in their favorite book was able to get through a tornado will help them get through one too. Some great books include: The Flood That Came to Grandma’s House by Linda P. Stallone, All-of-a-Sudden Susan by E. Coatswort, and About Disasters by J. Berr. Here is a more comprehensive list of kid-friendly books on disasters.
How can I get them involved?
Have your child help you to prepare. Ask them for ideas. Ask questions like, “Where do you think would be a good place for our family to meet up in case there is a fire?” and “What do you think we should include in our disaster kit in case there is an emergency?” Talk through different scenarios with your child and get their input. They not only will feel like an important part of the process, but it will also help them think through possible situations so that you can help guide their thinking toward good solutions.
Andrew Fusco, COO of WorldClaim, and Guy Sayers, Director of International Claims Management, walk through the devastating Red Zone to inspect the demolition process of a client’s property from the Canterbury earthquake that struck Christchurch, New Zealand in February. Demolition of more than 6,000 Christchurch red-zone homes will start in February.
WorldClaim Global Claims Management has had a team of public adjusters on-site and residing in Christchurch, New Zealand since the Canterbury earthquake that struck the city.
Andrew Fusco and his team of public adjusters have been working side by side with their clients and the insurers to ensure maximum recovery on all properties during the insurance claim process.
Michael Fusco, CEO of WorldClaim, and his family and friends took some time over the holiday season to give back to the community by working to feed the homeless at the 1st Pentecostal Church in downtown Atlanta. The Fusco family believes strongly in the importance of giving back to the community and helping the less fortunate. They enjoy supporting various charity organizations throughout the year and look forward to the Christmas season as an opportunity to share their blessings with others. By their example, we encourage our family, vendors and friends to give back as well. Take some time this holiday season to reflect on your many blessings and find ways to help others in need.
The flooding from Tropical Storm Irene in late August submerged many upstate New York communities, which presented a costly reality check for many home and business owners. It also left many unanswered questions about flood insurance and the recovery process; a few of which we have provided the answers to below. If you have more in-depth questions regarding your flood insurance policy or a claim, contact a Public Claims Adjuster at WorldClaim to have all of your questions answered.
Did you know?
Floods are the most common and costly natural disaster- This includes heavy rains, spring thaw, ice jams, la niña, etc. Over the past 10 years, the average flood claim has amounted to nearly $48,000, according to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
A common misconception is that homeowners’ policies cover flood damage- Specific flood insurance is required in order to collect monies from your insurance carrier for damages caused by flooding. Flood maps are available and The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is currently updating the Nation’s flood plans based on changing weather patterns and erosion. Visit www.fema.org for more info.
The President must declare a major disaster before most forms of federal disaster assistance can be offered, and most forms of disaster assistance include loans that must be repaid with interest- President Obama made Federal funding available to affected policyholders in Albany, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Greene, Schenectady, Schoharie and Ulster Counties. If you were a victim of Tropical Storm Irene and had damages from August 28, 2011, the NFIP has offered an extension on claims preparation until November 24, 2011. If you suffered damages from the September 7, 2011 storm, the deadline has been extended until January 4, 2012.
This is a case which is still underway and was publicized in the AJC under the title, “Property value case headed to Georgia’s top court.” We have been directly involved in this case from the beginning and believe it could be a very influential case moving forward in regards to diminution of value for property owners. Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments section below. We will keep you updated on this case as it progresses.
Michael A. Fusco Chief Executive Officer, WorldClaim
1) Save Your Sanity- The truth is that most people don’t deal with disaster on a day-to-day basis, but we do. In a time when you are already feeling defeated, let a public adjuster be your champion. We can help you get back on your feet sooner rather than later. We help businesses with interruption/loss of use to get them back up and running as soon as possible so the business doesn’t skip a beat. Just because a disaster strikes your place of business doesn’t mean you have to settle for not generating income. 2) Save Significant Time and Energy- The reality is that most people don’t have the time to thoroughly research the claims process; luckily, we’re experts. We know the ins and outs of the claims process; the little secrets the insurance companies don’t want you to know. The entire claims process usually takes about 6-8 months depending on the severity of the loss. Save yourself hours upon hours of research and headaches and let us take care of it for you. 3) Let Us Interpret the Jargon- Insurance companies use terms that you probably don’t use on a daily basis. Terms like Replacement Cost, Insurable Interests, and Actual Cash Value can be daunting concepts to grasp. Don’t let the insurance company pull the wool over your eyes with fancy fine print. Leave it to us to sift through the tedious, long-winded paperwork. 4) Get the Maximum Payout You Deserve- A public adjuster will fight to get you the payout you deserve. There are little tips and tricks to getting the biggest payout for your claim and because we have been in business for so long, we know them all. One thing you can do is to save all your receipts. Saving receipts is a good idea not just for tax season, but because when you suffer losses from a disaster, you can recover items as small as a pair of socks as long as you have the receipts for them. Also, some people question whether or not they can actually get more money for their claim after giving us a slice of the pie. The truth is that we take a modest 10% of what you receive, and our customers on average receive 25-40% more money when we handle the claim than when they rely on the insurance company to give them their fair share. If you do the math, that’s a lot more money in your pocket. 5) The Service Pays for Itself- This is really the beauty of our business. You don’t have to spend a penny out-of-pocket for our services. When you win, we win. We’re in this together.