National Preparedness Month: Prepare for Disasters

Erie Insurance Agent Hank Ellis

BUCKHANNON — Wildfires, lightning and flooding are among the disasters to prepare for when thinking about week three of National Preparedness Month.

Most people think they are as prepared as can be for potential emergencies; however, natural disasters can occur in a moment’s notice and all precautions should be taken. Although vastly protected in our home among the hills, destructive weather can still make its way through. Here are some tips for possible events that should be considered when preparing.

Wildfires, though far and few between in West Virginia, are still a possibility. A wildfire is an uncontrolled fire that burns wildland vegetation, forests, grasslands, and other ecosystems. Wildfires often occur in rural areas, but they are not limited to certain environments.

The best tips to prepare for an instance like this are to know the best evacuation plan, make sure your supplies are gathered and protected, strengthen your home by using fire-resistant materials to build, renovate, and make repairs, and create a fire-resistant zone.

Lightning is a leading cause of injury and death from weather-related hazards. Although most strike victims survive, those people often report long-term debilitating symptoms. Thunderstorms with lightning can produce powerful winds over 50 mph, with hail and flash flooding. Some instances have even produced tornadoes or microbursts.

The best way to prepare for storms and lightning is to know your risk and strengthen your home. Clear debris of possible dangers from around your home and listen to warnings. Remain indoors while avoiding running water and electronic devices. Another important tip is to “turn around, don’t drown” in relation to driving. Do not drive or walk-through fast-moving water. Just six inches of water can knock a person down and one foot of water can sweep a vehicle away.

Flooding has recently and historically shown Buckhannon and surrounding areas just how destructive it can be. Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. Failing to prepare or failing to evacuate flooded areas can lead to injury or death. Floods may result from rain, coastal storms, storm surges, and overflows of dams and other water systems. The rising waters can develop over time or with no warning, causing road closures and damage to homes and businesses. Depending on the type of flooding, follow instructions by emergency personnel and take care of your immediate person before helping others.

All these events need preparations; however, one important detail to help ensure your family is prepared is updating and maintaining business, home, car, and life insurance. Hank Ellis Insurance Agency is the local branch of Erie Insurance. Sitting down with Ellis, he introduced multiple policies that are affordable and maintainable to best protect what and who you love.

When thinking about the many types of insurance available to protect multiple parts of an individual’s life, Agent Hank Ellis took the time to explain the importance behind insurance.

“When we reach out to customers, it is important to stress income replacement of a significant other or family. Other important things to consider are bit debt loan items such as mortgage balance and remaining car balances. These are all things that you protect primarily with a term policy because we’re trying to protect against untimely death,” Ellis explained.

On top of National Preparedness Month, September is also Life Insurance Awareness Month.

“My website has a life insurance calculator that allows people to preview coverage. People think they don’t really need that much coverage, but then you start adding up salary, outstanding loan balance on a house, student loan debt, and you have already exceeded the amount you thought,” Ellis asserted. “It’s just being prepared. You don’t want to put the other partner or the family in in a position where they are totally left hanging and strapped because they have not only lost their loved one, but income.”

Insurance is one of the best ways to protect from disasters that could potentially cause major injury or death.

“Be prepared. Bad things can happen to anybody, and when it comes to insurance, be prepared. Make it easy; make sure you have a will in place, so you don’t leave your family guessing on what you wanted done. Your home, car, business, and life need to be protected from potential disasters,” stressed Ellis.

If you or someone you love is looking for an affordable and reliable insurance provider, visit or schedule an appointment at the local office located at 4 Northridge Drive Suite 112 Buckhannon, West Virginia. If you have any questions pertaining to insurance, call Hank Ellis at (304) 472-8103. Prepare for disasters this month by protecting everything you love.


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