August has been quite a month! Personally, I have now experienced two things that will change my life forever. You may recall my last post, “Mom Would Have Liked it”, concerning the passing of my mom. The last weekend in August a big bully, Hurricane Harvey, blew through and devastated a good part of Texas leaving the gulf coast looking like a war zone. The city of Corpus Christi fared well considering what happened 30 miles northeast of us in Port Aransas, Rockport and several other small coastal towns.
Although most of our team here at BBA Life Brokerage had minimal damage, fences down, tree limbs broken and some roof damage, the condo I own in Port Aransas is totaled! Now I, as so many others, am going through the process of cleaning up and rebuilding, which I know is going to take months. For me, this also includes a loss of revenue. For so many others the loss is much greater.
So, what have I learned from all of this?
- Life changes in an instant and you are not in control of that change. That bully Harvey took several days to come across the gulf but he transformed our lives so quickly.
- You need to be fully prepared for what is coming. I happened to be in San Antonio on Thursday afternoon prior to Harvey’s arrival, still thinking in the back of my mind that it’s not really going to hit us. But trying to be prepared, I went into a grocery story on my way home to pick up some things. When I walked around the store I thought to myself, what do I really need?
- The aftermath can be even more difficult than the storm itself. There are so many questions that arise after a storm. Is everyone ok? Now what do we do? Who do we call? Where is all of my insurance paperwork? What is covered and what is not? You must be prepared to work through all of these questions. Keeping organized and having good records of your insurance and properties will help.
- When a catastrophe strikes, neighbors, friends and strangers come to your aid. My husband and I went to our condo the first day we were let back onto North Padre Island and in to Port Aransas. It was somewhat of a ghost town then; a few residents and business owners assessing the damage. The following Saturday, the small beach town was packed with volunteers and food vendors giving away free food and water. Others were giving away free cleaning supplies. Already many businesses and residents had pulled destroyed items outside and there were piles of debris along the road. They were getting on with life. And when you volunteer, strangers become friends.
- Although there was a minimal loss of life with Harvey, it could have been much worse. How utterly devastating it could have been to lose your home or business and the life of one you love at the same time. Help your clients make sure they have all their insurance in place for the “what if’s”. Homeowners, wind, flood, personal property, and life insurance among a few.
A storm like Harvey may not happen here again for years, and your client may live to a ripe old age of 90 but….what if!?! Make certain your clients are well prepared for disasters. They come on quickly and they can be brutal.