USAA Advises Southwest Fla. Residents to Prep for Visit from Hurricane Wilma

October 20, 2005

With the record-tying 12th named hurricane of the season heading toward the southern peninsula of Florida, homeowners should act now to help protect their family and belongings. USAA urges homeowners to consider the following:

Batten down the hatches:

* Cover all large windows and patio doors with cut-to-fit boards.
* Caulk or install weather stripping around doors and windows to bar wind and rain.
* Move outdoor furniture, garbage cans, grills, toys, and other loose items to an indoor location.

Gather important information:

* Collect all important documents, such as wills, power of attorney, insurance policies, and medical documents.
* Create a list of important phone numbers, such as insurance claims service, credit card customer service, and banking customer service.
* Record an inventory of household items and belongings with a camera, video camera, or written checklist.

Prepare an emergency kit:

* Include at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food and water supplies for each person.
* Purchase a portable, battery-powered weather radio, lantern, and flashlight, as well as backup batteries for each.
* Obtain additional supplies of prescribed medicines, as well as general first-aid supplies and over-the-counter medicines.
* Pack a few items from the workbench, such as work gloves and a wrench.

Following these simple steps can help prepare individuals for the coming weather event.

USAA members can call 800-531-8222 with questions about their insurance policies or to file a claim.

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