Farmers Backs National Preparedness Month for a Smarter September, Offering Safety Tips in Time for a New Season

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- It's this time every year that leaves' colors begin to change, days end a little sooner, thermometers start to dip, and short-term attention shifts from beaches and road trips to costumes and pumpkins. But fall, as a predictably unpredictable season, brings with it a reminder of Mother Nature's mean side --- from severe weather and wildfires brought on by record drought, to tornadoes and hurricanes. Fall reminds us that it's smart to have a plan, and that's why Farmers Insurance, one of the nation's largest multiline insurers, has partnered with the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) to call attention to National Preparedness Month. Every September since 2004, National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), has become a nationwide call to action to create awareness of the importance of preparing for emergencies.

"Our Farmers founding principle is to keep people safe and prepared, and give back to the communities where we live and work," said Brian Braddock, Head of Public Policy Research and Development at Farmers Insurance. "We are proud to support FEMA and organizations like IBHS to help promote the message of being well-prepared for whatever unexpected emergencies or disasters may occur in your community."

This National Preparedness Month, Farmers offers the following advice for a smarter September, which can be used throughout the year.

Design A Family Plan of Action:

Disasters can strike at any time so it is crucial to create a plan of action. When creating a plan of action it is important to address the care of infants and young children, aiding family members with access and functional needs, pets and safely shutting off utilities and other household appliances. You may also want to designate a family meeting spot should you become separated during an emergency or disaster. To help guide your planning, Farmers created a helpful family emergency plan checklist and family disaster preparedness plan.

Build Your Family's Emergency Kit:

In case your family is caught in an unexpected emergency, make sure you have an emergency kit on hand. Prepare a kit of essential items, which can include, but are not limited to canned goods and non-perishable food, water, batteries, medications, pet food if you have animals, a crank radio, flashlights, a first aid kit and more. In addition, since technology and other electronic tools could be unusable, have on hand paper maps of the area, a list of contacts in your area, and a local telephone directory book, should you need to contact authorities for help.

Keep Informed and Alert of Your Surroundings:

Severe weather is common in the fall so it is important to keep alert of any potentially dangerous weather patterns in your area. According to IBHS, sign up to receive alerts about severe weather and emergencies from your local government or weather station, if available. In addition, you can enable your cell phone to receive Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) text messages sent out by FEMA.

Prepare Your Home and Property for the Worst:

Natural and man-made disasters can occur at any time. Whether you reside in an area susceptible to floods, high winds, wildfires, earthquakes, or severe ice and snow, there are steps you can take now to ensure your home is prepared when these events happen.

  • Flooding: Floods are one of the most common natural disasters in the U.S. Fortunately, there are some easy steps that can limit potentially costly water damage to your house and possessions, as well as make it easier to clean up when the waters recede. In order to keep as much water out of your home as possible, you can use internal sealants and other high-quality urethane-based caulking to seal any cracks in the exterior. Farmers Insurance flood preparedness checklist.
  • High Winds and Tornadoes: Approximately 1,000 tornadoes occur annually in the U.S. It is important to remove any lawn furniture or any other objects from the yard that could become projectiles during high winds and tornadoes. When re-roofing your home, take the additional measures to meet high wind guidelines for your area. It may also be good to install permanent window and door shutters. Farmers Insurance tornado preparedness checklist.
  • Hurricanes: Hurricane season lasts from June 1 to November 30 for the Atlantic, peak season is from mid-August to late October. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season begins in May and runs until the end of November. If you are in an area that consistently faces the threat of a hurricane, consider landscaping with mulch, rather than stone, which can become dangerous flying debris during high winds. Check doors, windows, and walls for openings where water can get in; use silicone caulk to seal cracks, gaps, and holes—especially around openings where cables and pipes enter the house. Inspect your garage door for signs it's pressure-rated – look for: label, solid steel wheels, large metal braces spanning width of the door and brackets attaching the tracks to the wall. If it is not pressure-rated, purchase a bracing kit from your local hardware store to do it yourself, or hire a licensed contractor. Farmers Insurance hurricane preparedness checklist.
  • Wildfires: When considering the vulnerability of your home to wildfire, you need to evaluate and address all potential exposures. One of the most effective things you can do to make your home more wildfire-resistant is to create a "defensible space zone" around your house to help keep wildfires away. It is especially important to clear away any dried out brush or debris within 100 feet of your home. Also, make sure any combustible materials are at least 30 feet away from your home. Farmers Insurance wildfire preparedness checklist.
  • Earthquakes: Earthquakes can occur any time and usually strike without warning, leaving you little or no time to get out of the house. There are some simple and inexpensive steps you can take now to safeguard against injury and property damage. Make sure to anchor any heavy pieces of furniture and appliances, which can include wall-mounted televisions, picture frames, bookcases, mirrors and even water heaters. Also, have the walls of your home inspected and brace any walls with large openings. Farmers earthquake preparedness checklist.

Keep Your Community Ready for Disaster:

According to the National Weather Service's report on natural hazard statistics, in 2013 approximately 400 fatalities occurred due to severe weather. Give back to your community by helping to promote being prepared and ready for emergencies or disasters. Farmers Insurance, in an effort to help prepare communities for disasters and recover after a disaster, developed the Disaster Recovery Playbook. This resource, available at, is a compilation of the best practices every municipality and community should know about before and after disaster strikes. The Playbook incorporates lessons learned from past recovery efforts to allow communities the opportunity to stand on the shoulders of previous recoveries, dramatically reducing overall recovery time. For more information on the Disaster Recovery Playbook or other emergency and disaster preparedness tips, please visit the Farmers Catastrophe Awareness site.

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 its Web site at or at

Carrie Bonney

Trevor Chapman

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SOURCE Farmers Insurance



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