STORM CENTER

 

 


 

You can't control Mother Nature, but you can be prepared for what she has in store.

We're ready. Prepare and stay safe by knowing what to do before, during and after severe weather.
 

  • While you can't prevent a hailstorm, you can be prepared. These tips may help protect yourself, your loved ones, your home and business.
  • Stay Informed. Listen to local weather forecasts and bulletins issued by the National Weather Service, NOAA Weather Radio or local TV and radio stations.
  • Move vehicles to a garage or under carports to reduce or prevent damage, if it’s safe to do so.
  • Install wind-rated garage doors. High winds can cause your garage door to fail, allowing a build-up of high pressure to damage your structure. Check your garage door for a wind load sticker to verify wind rating.
  • Have your roof inspected regularly by a qualified roofing inspector or contractor to check for loose materials or other damages.
  • Install protective screens on HVAC units. These screens can reduce the chance of damage to the coils and fins of your HVAC units.
  • Upgrade gutters and downspouts. Steel gutters and downspouts are more durable than vinyl and aluminum products and are less susceptible to damage and leaking after hail storms.
  • Upgrade your roof covering to impact-rated shingles. If you live in a hail-prone region of the country, consider installing UL Class 4 impact-rated shingles which may eliminate or reduce the frequency of needed roof repairs and extend the lifespan of your roof.
  • Remove debris from gutters and downspouts. Have trees and branches near buildings or structures removed or trimmed by an arborist.
  • Listen to the local weather forecast for updates and safety information.
  • Bring pets indoors.
  • Seek shelter in an interior room, on the lowest floor of your home, school or business and avoid windows.
  • Avoid driving through severe storms. Pull over or delay travel if necessary.
  • Hail is an indicator that a tornado could develop. If a tornado approaches, seek shelter in an interior closet or bathroom. If possible, protect your head and body with something padded such as pillows or a small mattress.
  • Protect your property from further damage.
  • If you need to file a claim, do so as soon as possible.

 

We hope the unexpected never happens, but rest assured that the State Auto team is ready to respond and we’ll be there with you to weather any storm together.
 

  • If you live on a coast, you’re likely no stranger to hurricanes. Hurricanes can wreak havoc and leave a path of destruction in their wake. Consider these tips to help protect yourself, your loved ones, and your home and business.
  • Stay Informed. Listen to local weather forecasts and bulletins issued by the National Weather Service, NOAA Weather Radio, or local TV and radio stations.
  • Use this hurricane checklist and our disaster preparedness checklist to prepare.
  • Remove debris from gutters and downspouts. Have trees and branches near buildings or structures removed or trimmed by an arborist.
  • Install wind related garage doors. High winds can cause your garage door to fail, allowing a build-up of high pressure to damage your structure. Check your garage door for a wind load sticker to verify wind rating.
  • Secure exterior objects and landscaping to prevent them from blowing away or causing damage.
  • Make sure your car has a full tank of gas and your cell phones are fully charged.
  • Board up windows and doors.
If you have a business:
  • Have regular drills and identify a safe location inside the building.
  • Have emergency supplies on hand (non-perishable food, water etc).
  • Keep a list of telephone numbers for employees and important documents in a safe location. Consider keeping a copy of this content offsite.
  • If time permits, consider sending non-essential people home before severe weather hits. If people are in the building and are unable to evacuate, move to an interior room on the first floor, away from windows and doors.
  • Listen to the local weather forecast for updates and safety information.
  • Take shelter indoors or follow your local authorities directives to evacuate if instructed to do so.
  • Turn off utilities and unplug appliances to prevent a power surge. Move the contents from your fridge/freezer to a cooler or ice chest.
  • Stay away from fallen power lines. In the event of a downed power line:
    • Call for help and report downed lines to your local utility emergency center. Do not try to move power lines or debris near power lines.
    • Avoid the area near downed lines and anything that may be touching downed lines, including vehicles or tree branches. Wet, snow-covered ground, and puddles can conduct electricity. Warn others to stay away.
  • Continue to listen to local weather forecasts and bulletins issued by the National Weather Service, NOAA Weather Radio, or local TV and radio stations.
  • Do not drink tap water until it is determined safe to do so.
  • Use caution and do not drive through flooded areas.
  • Do not run generators indoors. Place generators so exhaust fumes can’t enter the home through windows and doors.
  • Protect your property from further damage.
  • If you need to file a claim, do so as soon as possible.
 

  • Tornados can approach quickly and may last for only a few minutes but can leave a path of devastation in their wake. Consider these tips to help protect yourself, your loved ones, your home and business.
  • Stay informed. Listen to local weather forecasts and bulletins issued by the National Weather Service, NOAA Weather Radio, or local TV and radio stations.
  • Have a disaster preparedness plan.
  • Have emergency supplies on hand (non-perishable food, water etc).
  • Keep trees and shrubs trimmed. Clear debris from the gutters and secure patio furniture.
  • Install wind-rated garage doors. High winds can cause your garage door to fail, allowing a build-up of high pressure to damage your structure. Check your garage door for a wind load sticker to verify wind rating.
  • Have your roof inspected regularly by a qualified roofing inspector or contractor to check for loose materials that could be unsafe or come loose during a tornado.
  • Consider constructing new buildings or retrofit your existing building(s) to include wind mitigation standards like roof bracing by adding fasteners, anchors or reinforcements.
  • Include a safe room to provide shelter during storms.
Additionally, if you have a business:
  • Have a disaster preparedness plan for your business.
  • Have regular drills and identify a safe location to take shelter.
  • Keep a list of telephone numbers for employees and important documents in a safe location . Consider keeping a copy of this content offsite.
  • If time permits, consider sending non-essential people home before severe weather hits. If people are in the building and are unable to evacuate, move to an interior room on the first floor, away from windows and doors.
  • Monitor the sky and stay alert to changing conditions. Look for the following danger signs: whirling dust or debris under a cloud base (sometimes tornadoes have no funnel!); dead calm or a fast, intense wind following heavy rain or hail; loud and continuous rumble or roar.
  • If a storm is approaching, take shelter indoors immediately. Go to a designated room or location, cover family members with mattresses or get under a desk or table. Keep exterior windows and doors closed.
  • Listen to the local weather forecast for updates and safety information.
  • If you’re outside during high winds:
    • Take cover next to a building or under a shelter away from roadways or train tracks.
    • Watch out for flying debris from tree limbs, signs or other objects.
    • Avoid elevated areas and use handrails where available.
  • Stay away from fallen power lines. In the event of a downed power line:
    • Call for help and report downed lines to your local utility emergency center.
    • Do not try to move power lines or debris near power lines.
    • Avoid the area near downed lines and anything that may be touching downed lines, including vehicles or tree branches. Wet, snow-covered ground and puddles can conduct electricity. Warn others to stay away.
  • Continue to listen to local weather forecasts and bulletins issued by the National Weather Service, NOAA Weather Radio, or local TV and radio stations.
  • For severe damage, shut off electrical power and gas.
  • Do not run generators indoors. Place generators so exhaust fumes can’t enter the home through windows and doors.
  • Stay out of damaged structures and away from downed power lines.
  • Protect your property from further damage.
  • If you need to file a claim, do so as soon as possible.
 

  • Wildfires are destructive forces and can be devastating. Consider these tips to help protect yourself, your loved ones, and your home and business.
  • 100 Foot Perimeter. Protecting your home’s outer perimeter will help reduce your risk of damage from wildfire. Limit your risk by:
    • Removing dead plant and tree material or litter from the ground.
    • Removing or pruning small trees to create at least 6-12 feet between the top or canopy of trees to limit the spread of fire.
  • 30 Foot Perimeter. Reduce your risk from fire by maintaining vegetation, landscaping and storage within 30 feet of your home.
    • Keep lawns watered and mowed and make sure debris is removed.
    • Keep flammable objects (woodpiles, oil or gas cans, propane tanks, etc.) at least 30 feet away from your home.
    • Remove vegetation under trees (ladder fuels) and prune the lower third of trees to help keep a fire from spreading to the canopy or treetops.
    • Limit trees and shrubs to small clusters. A continuous grouping of vegetation can allow wildfires to easily spread.
    • Use patios, walkways and driveways to create noncombustible fire or fuel breaks.
    • Keep trees at least 10 feet from structures.
  • 5 Foot Perimeter.
    • Frequently remove dried leaves, pine needles, dead vegetation and debris.
    • Use non-combustible hardscapes such as gravel, stone or concrete instead of mulch or dried needles.
    • Remove trees and shrubs and replace them with fire-resistant plants such as succulents.
    • Remove or trim back trees or branches within 10 feet of your house, roof or chimney.
  • Your Home Itself.
    • Use ignition-resistant building materials whenever possible. These may include:
      • Stucco, masonry, plaster or cement siding.
      • Metal, fiber cement, lightweight concrete or masonry patios or decks.
      • Metal gutters.
      • Metal or masonry fencing.
      • Metal doors.
      • Class A fire-rated roofing products such as cement or clay tile, metal or composite shingles or panels.
    • Limit embers’ ability to ignite.
      • Use ⅛-inch metal mesh screening below decks to block embers.
      • Remove debris from gutters and roof surfaces, especially valleys or intersections.
      • Use ⅛-inch metal mesh screening on eave or soffit vents and foundation or crawlspace vents.
      • Weather seal or fill gaps, crevices and doors.
    • Planning.
Listen to officials. Evacuate when fire officials instruct you to do so. Follow all emergency instructions.

 

Prepare your home and business
  • Shut off your main gas supply valve.
  • Move outside combustible items and yard furniture away from the house or store it in your garage.
  • Attach garden hoses to spigots and place them where they are easily accessible for firefighters.
  • Fill trash cans and buckets with water and place them where firefighters can find them.
  • Wet down flammable roofs or above-ground fuel tanks using lawn sprinklers. Do not leave the water running – you don’t want to deplete the water supply.Use caution when walking on roofs, especially if they’re wet.
  • Close all windows and doors, interior and exterior.
  • Turn lights on in all rooms to make your home more visible in heavy smoke or darkness.
  • Fill sinks and bathtubs with water.
  • Remove flammable curtains and drapes from windows.
  • Move furniture away from windows and glass doors.
Listen to officials. Wait until fire officials tell you it’s safe to return and always use caution when re-entering a burned area.
When it’s safe to return home, be prepared for the following:
  • Flare-ups. Check the ground for hot spots, smoldering stumps and vegetation. Check the roof, attic and exterior areas for sparks or embers and contact 911 right away to report any fires, or areas of danger.
  • Flash floods. Rainfall over a burned area can cause flash flooding. Listen for updates and stay away from burned forest areas and Natural drainages such as rivers, creeks or channels.
  • Watch for falling trees or structures. Burned trees, power poles, surfaces and structures may be very unstable.
  • Check your property:
    • Check for gas leaks before restoring power. Use a battery-powered flashlight that you turn on before entering the home.
    • Leave your gas off. Leave gas valves and supply lines closed until your utility company or supplier inspects them.
    • Check and test your water supply.
    • Do not drink the water. Wait until emergency officials say it’s OK to use domestic water supplies as water can be polluted and water systems damaged during the event.
    • Discard food. Throw away any food that may have been unrefrigerated or exposed to heat, smoke, flood or soot. Document the spoiled items with photos and lists.
    • Inventory damage to personal belongings.
  • Protect your property from further damage.
  • If you need to file a claim, do so as soon as possible.
 

 
  • Don’t let winter catch you unprepared. Consider these tips to help protect yourself, your loved ones, your home and your business.
  • Protect your water supply systems against freezing. Insulate water supply, drain and condensate pipes in areas like crawl spaces, attics, near doorways, uninsulated outside walls or adjacent to open windows.
  • Wrap pipes, gutters, downspouts with heat tape or heat cables.
  • Develop a list of contractors, suppliers and their phone numbers to call in the event of a winter emergency. Establish service contracts to winterize, maintain and repair critical systems.
  • Consider installing a back-up electric power generator in case of a snowstorm that knocks power out.
  • Have trees and overhanging branches near buildings or structures removed or trimmed by an arborist.
  • Have your roof inspected regularly by a qualified roofing inspector or contractor to check for loose materials or other damages.
  • Protect your roof systems against collapse. Insulate attic areas above ceilings to avoid ice dams.
  • Have your chimney and/or flues inspected every year.
  • Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Preparing yourself for cold temperatures:

 

  • Gather emergency supplies and have them readily available

     

    • Medical needs/prescription medications.
    • Food/supplies: at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable food and water.
    • Hygiene and sanitation items.
    • Protective gear: Warm clothes, blankets, footwear, and gloves.
Preparing your vehicle for cold temperatures:

 

  • Have your car inspected and maintained before winter. Be sure to check the brakes, brake fluid, exhaust, oil, battery, heater, radiator and tires.
  • Check tires and fill tires to the recommended amount of pressure. Replace tires if the tread is worn.
  • Fill windshield washer reservoir with wintertime mixture.
  • Keep a gas tank full or near full.
  • Listen to the local weather forecast for updates and safety information. Always follow local authorities’ directives.
  • Heat your home or structure safely. Using a cooking stove for heat can be dangerous. Have safe heating sources available like extra blankets, sleeping bags and warm winter coats
  • A fireplace that is up to code and inspected within the last year can be a great source of heat. Be ready with plenty of dry firewood stocked or install a gas log fireplace.
  • Keep space heaters away from flammable materials such as curtains, blankets or clothing and follow manufacturer recommendations for safe usage. Follow this CDC.gov article for more tips to keep you safe when using portable heating devices.
  • Leave all water taps slightly open so they drip continuously.
  • Allow heated air to reach pipes by leaving cabinet doors below kitchen and bathroom sinks open.
  • Don’t attempt to thaw frozen pipes with a torch. If you have power, use an electric hair dryer instead.
  • Stay away from fallen power lines anything that may be touching downed lines, including vehicles or tree branches.
  • In the event of a downed power line call for help and report down lines to your local utility emergency center. Don’t try to move power lines or debris near power lines.
  • More safety tips for power outages can be found in this CDC.gov article
Keeping your employees safe:
  • If working outside, ensure your employees know the signs of cold weather illness. If you suspect frostbite or hypothermia, call 911 and seek immediate medical attention.
  • Frostbite causes loss of feeling and color around the face, fingers and toes.
  • Provide warming stations and emergency care for urgent care needs:
  • Soak in warm water or use body heat to warm the affected area. Do not use a heating pad or massage the area.
    • Hypothermia is an unusually low body temperature. A temperature below 95 degrees is an emergency.
    • Watch For: Drowsiness, confusion, exhaustion, shivering, slurred speech, fumbling hands or memory loss.
    • Call 911 Then Take Action: Provide a warming station or warm room. Warm the center of the body first—chest, neck, head and groin. Keep the person dry and wrapped up in warm blankets, including the head and neck.

 

  • Continue to listen to local weather forecasts and bulletins issued by the National Weather Service, NOAA Weather Radio or local TV and radio stations.
  • Shut off electrical power and gas.
  • Stay out of damaged structures and away from downed power lines.
  • Soak in warm water or use body heat to warm the affected area. Do not use a heating pad or massage the area.
  • Do not run generators indoors.
  • Protect your property from further damage.
  • If you need to file a claim, do so as soon as possible.

 


What to do.

We hope you never suffer a loss. If you do, we’re here for you. Here’s what you can do to stay safe to protect your property from further damage
 

  • Safety first. Ensure that the property is accessible and has been released by the fire department before attempting to re-enter the home.
  • Immediately contact a local restoration company to board up windows or other openings caused by the fire or firefighting efforts. The restoration company may be able to help determine if electricity can be restored.
  • If it’s safe and if you’re able to do so without disturbing the area where the fire originated, remove any firearms and ammunition, important documents and valuables.
  • Don’t disturb anything in the area where the fire originated until a State Auto investigator has released the scene.
  • Take steps to prevent further damage until your property can be evaluated.
    • Keep all of your invoices, receipts, and any damaged items.
    • We know viewing damage to your home or business can be very difficult. Before any clean up, be sure to make a list of damages and record it with photos and videos.
  • Start your list by creating a diagram of each room. In the diagram, add the larger contents of the room and then place yourself in front of/on that item and think of what you’d reach for to the left and to the right of that item.
  • The list you prepare should include the quantity, a detailed description of the item and the approximate age.
 

  • Turn the water off at the nearest valve and drain the remaining water by turning the faucet. If needed, turn off the main valve.
  • Drain plumbing and appliance lines (specifically hot water heaters).
  • You might need the help of an expert for clean up or repairs. Contact a reputable restoration company right away. If a reputable company is not available, keep track of the time you spend making any temporary repairs to prevent further damage.
  • If you’re unsure who to use, State Auto can provide you with a choice of highly qualified and insured contractors in your area once you file a claim.
  • We know viewing damage to your home or business can be very difficult. Before any clean up, be sure to make a list of damages and record it with photos and videos.
  • Start water cleanup right away
  • Make temporary repairs or take steps to prevent further damage until your property can be evaluated. Avoid permanent repairs until you speak with a State Auto professional.
  • Keep all of your invoices, receipts, and any damaged items.
  • Create an inventory of damaged personal belongings, including the cost and age of the item(s).
 

General actions you can take if your home or business has suffered a loss :
  • You might need the help of an expert for clean up or repairs. Contact a reputable restoration company right away. If a reputable company is not available, keep track of the time you spend making any temporary repairs to prevent further damage.
  • If you’re unsure who to use, State Auto can provide you with a choice of highly qualified and insured contractors in your area once you file a claim.
  • We know viewing damage to your home or business can be very difficult. Before any clean up, be sure to make a list of damages and record it with photos and videos.
  • Make temporary repairs or take steps to prevent further damage until your property can be evaluated. Avoid permanent repairs until you speak with a State Auto professional.
  • Keep all of your invoices, receipts, and any damaged items.
  • Create an inventory of damaged personal belongings, including the cost and age of the item(s).
 

If your home or business has water damage:
  • You might need the help of an expert for clean up or repairs. Contact a reputable restoration company right away. If a reputable company is not available, keep track of the time you spend making any temporary repairs to prevent further damage.
  • If you’re unsure who to use, State Auto can provide you with a choice of highly qualified and insured contractors in your area once you file a claim.
  • We know viewing damage to your home or business can be very difficult. Before any clean up, be sure to make a list of damages and record it with photos and videos.
  • Make temporary repairs or take steps to prevent further damage until your property can be evaluated. Avoid permanent repairs until you speak with a State Auto professional.
  • Keep all of your invoices, receipts, and any damaged items.
  • Create an inventory of damaged personal belongings, including the cost and age of the item(s).
  • Tips for cleaning up and preventing additional water damage:

     

    • If the water is sitting on a hard surface such as laminate, hardwood and/or ceramic tile, mop, wet/dry vacuum or use towels to soak up as much water as possible.
    • If water enters a room with carpet, extract as much water as you can with a wet dry vac, and if possible, pull out the damaged carpet pad. Use buckets or anything you have around to prop and elevate the carpet and if available, direct a fan under the carpet.
    • If water has affected your walls, you may remove the damaged section of drywall from the floor up to assist with the drying process. This is known as a “flood cut.”
    • If drywall is affected, such as drywall ceilings, it's possible those ceilings could lose stability to the affected area and should be addressed by removing the wet ceiling only. If water bubbles are present, gently drain the water from the bubbles into a bucket.
    • If the carpet pad, carpet or any flooring is removed, keep a 1’ x 1’ sample of floor covering.
    • If the damaged room has contents, place foil wrap or wax paper on the feet of the furniture to prevent water wicking. If you're able, remove furniture or move it to an undamaged location.
    • Maintain the heat and air in your home.
    • Do not stand in the water and touch any electrical outlets or switches if the power is still on. This could result in electrical shock.
 

  • Keep fridge/freezer doors closed to prevent spoilage. Dispose of bad smelling food and document the spoiled items with photos and lists.
  • Unplug electronics to avoid a power surge.
  • Power surges and brownouts are common during severe weather. If you can, turn off all of your breakers until full power is restored in your area.
 

  • Safety first: Ensure property is accessible and no hazards are in the area. If you don’t feel safe, don’t try to access and call a professional.
  • If water has entered your home, use our tips to know what to do and how to clean up to prevent more damage. .
  • In the event there are power surges or brownouts, if you can, turn off all of your breakers until full power is restored in your area.
  • If you smell gas, leave the home immediately and contact 911 right away.
  • If you have debris on your home, contact a professional to remove and haul it away. Please take photos of this process.
  • If there are any openings to your home (missing shingles, broken windows, etc), please call a professional to board up/tarp these areas and document with photos.
  • We know viewing damage to your home or business can be very difficult. Before any clean up, be sure to make a list of damages and record it with photos and videos.
  • Make temporary repairs or take steps to prevent further damage until your property can be evaluated. Avoid permanent repairs until you speak with a State Auto professional.
  • Keep all of your invoices, receipts, and any damaged items.
  • Create an inventory of damaged personal belongings, including the cost and age of the item(s).

 


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