Well, it’s officially Hurricane Season once again, and if you haven’t done it already, it’s time to make sure you’re prepared to deploy with your documents, tools, and supplies. All accounted for and all in working order. Here are a few tips that I’ve picked up over the years.
- Make sure all your licenses are current including CE credits and appointments. Don’t miss a deployment due to licensing issues. You cannot always rely on emergency licensing and many times they’re not issued immediately or at all in some cases. If you live in a non-license state, consider getting a license from a state that issues a Designated Home State License. Florida and Texas are both good choices. At CNC we continue to add clients to our Private Flood book of business. Private Flood is different than the NFIP/WYO market and adjusters are required to be licensed in the state they are working. Be sure and keep CNC up to date on your current licenses, certifications, and contact information.
- When traveling during a deployment, make sure to have your license card, FCN card, and a valid driver’s license on you at all times. It is best if all your licenses and identification display your name and address consistently. These documents may be essential in gaining access to disaster-stricken areas.
- Make sure your vehicle maintenance is up to date including all scheduled maintenance, oil, fluids, tires, A/C, etc. You will spend a considerable amount of deployment in your vehicle and if it’s not working neither are you. Stock your vehicle with bottled water and snacks. While deployed, be sure to keep your fuel topped off. Fuel is often in short supply immediately after a catastrophe event, so remember to fill up whenever you can. I have spent hours in traffic jams during flood and hurricane deployments. The last thing you need is to run out of gas in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
- Inventory and evaluate all of your essential tools to make sure they’re accounted for and in good working order. Tape measures, pitch gauges, shingle gauges, laser measuring devices, cougar paws, flashlights, cameras, chalk, drones, ladders, computers, software licenses, computer security suites, folding tables, office chair, charger cords, power inverters, printers, cables, etc. Be sure to install fresh batteries and pack extras as they tend to be in short supply in major catastrophes.
- Clothing is often overlooked. Be sure your cat clothing fits, is in good condition and is free of stains and holes. It’s essential that you look professional in the field. Be sure you have enough clothing available to get by for a week to ten days between washings. Do not forget foul weather gear.
- Masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment are essential. Especially during this time. Washable cloth masks may be your best option due to the availability and short service life of disposable masks.
- Many catastrophe adjusters maintain all their essentials in “CAT Kits” that are standing by solely for catastrophe deployment. The items are organized and stored separately from the clothes and tools they use in their daily life. Everything is maintained, accounted for, and ready to go at a moment’s notice. This avoids scrambling for essentials at the last minute. I always recommend clearly marked waterproof containers and a detailed checklist of all essentials.
I hope you found this helpful. I cannot stress enough the importance of pre-planning and organization. So be prepared and stay safe during this season!