LOS ANGELES, May 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- According to the National Weather Service, Annual U.S. Killer Tornado Statistics, 2010 to 2013 had more reported killer tornadoes and 46% more fatalities from those tornadoes than the previous five years combined (2005-2009). Additionally, the President's Climate Action Report indicates that extreme weather events, coastal flooding and wildfires are expected to increase. Thanks to Farmers Insurance, one of the nation's largest multiline insurers, communities now have a resource they can use to prepare for and recover from these unexpected and sometimes unprepared for events: the Disaster Recovery Playbook.
This resource, available at www.disasterrecoveryplaybook.org, is a compilation of the best practices every municipality and community should know about before and after disaster strikes. The Playbook incorporates lessons learned to allow future recoveries the opportunity to stand on the shoulders of previous recoveries, dramatically reducing overall recovery time.
In May 2011, Farmers Insurance was the first insurer on-site in Joplin, Mo., following a killer EF-5 tornado, providing relief to the community and assisting customers.
In an unprecedented move in the insurance industry, Farmers returned to Joplin in 2013 with a hands on commitment to see the city through to full recovery. Last year, more than 200 Farmers employees dedicated over 8,000 hours to help rebuild or renovate 20 homes. In early 2014, Farmers renewed its commitment, promising to help bring the remaining 70 families home later this year.
During its time in Joplin, Farmers began researching a model that municipalities across the United States could use to significantly reduce the time required for residential recovery. The result of that research is the Disaster Recovery Playbook, which describes, in detail, the successful model for recovery learned by Farmers and the St. Bernard Project through direct experiences in New Orleans, Joplin, New York and New Jersey.
In Joplin, the model helped residents return to their homes in less time than originally estimated. While original outside estimates from respected organizations called for a full recovery time of seven years, nearly all of the homes in Joplin will be rebuilt by the end of 2014, roughly three and a half years ahead of schedule.
"One of the founding principles of Farmers Insurance is to give back to the communities it is proud to serve, which is why we have had such a substantial effort and presence in Joplin over the past two years," said Jeff Dailey, CEO of Farmers Insurance Group. "During our time in Joplin, we saw first-hand how a series of proven best practices could help communities across the United States cut their time to recovery nearly in half. We are honored to share those valuable lessons with the launch of the Disaster Recovery Playbook."
"One of the biggest challenges that disaster impacted communities face is the challenge of being willing to promptly start the recovery process. Often, communities are hesitant to start, fearing that they will make a mistake," said Zack Rosenburg of the St. Bernard Project. "It is essential to promptly transition to recovery and to understand that mistakes will be made, but that these mistakes are essential for long-term learnings and progress."
"Farmers Insurance shares NOAA's vision of building a Weather-Ready Nation with this release of the Disaster Recovery Playbook: A Guide to Residential Recovery," said Louis Uccellini, Ph.D., director of NOAA's National Weather Service. "Working together we will provide useful and relevant information to communities, businesses and individuals to help them become ready, responsive and resilient to extreme weather and water events."
The Disaster Recovery Playbook offers insight into the best practices every community should know about, including:
Farmers launched the Disaster Recovery Playbook during a time of the year that has seen severe weather activity impact communities across the United States with increasing regularity over the past several years – notably tornadoes, hurricanes, hail storms, floods and wildfires.
The Playbook, which is available to interested municipalities as a free and open resource, will continue to evolve and change as new information and experiences become available. To learn more, and to view and download the Playbook, visit www.disasterrecoveryplaybook.org.
About Farmers Insurance
Farmers Insurance Group of Companies is a leading U.S. insurer group of automobiles, homes and small businesses and also provides a wide range of other insurance and financial services products. Farmers Insurance is proud to serve more than 10 million households with more than 20 million individual policies across all 50 states through the efforts of over 50,000 exclusive and independent agents and approximately 22,000 employees. For more information about Farmers, visit www.farmers.com or www.Facebook.com/FarmersInsurance.
SOURCE Farmers Insurance