NORTHBROOK, Ill., June 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Just over two weeks into hurricane season, we've already had three named storms. Forecasters with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are predicting as many as 16 named storms this season, with one to four of those reaching "major" hurricane status. Add to that, recent severe weather across the country is producing tornadoes, lightning, hail storms and flooding. Later this year, we'll face the threat of wildfires and freezing temperatures in parts of the United States.
"The weather we're having makes it clear there's a need for people to be prepared," said Mark McGillivray, Allstate Claims senior vice president. "Allstate knows from experience catastrophes can happen anytime and anywhere. We also know families can't wait to prepare. They must be proactive and pack a disaster kit, take inventory of their possessions and make an evacuation plan before severe storms strike."
Research shows since 1980, the occurrence of weather-related disasters has increased by more than 230 percent. According to AccuWeather, natural disasters have affected 217 million people every year since 1990.
Disaster Prep Steps for Families
To prepare for this year, Allstate is urging everyone to take action now by doing at least one – or all three – of the following catastrophe prep steps:
- First: Pack An Emergency Kit! Get a plastic tub and fill it with first-aid supplies, personal hygiene items, water, non-perishable food and a flashlight. If you're on medication, include it or a prescription, along with cash, copies of important papers and insurance policy numbers. Get a list of recommended supplies here. Having the kit ready allows you to grab it and go at a moment's notice.
- Next: Protect Your Stuff with Allstate's Digital Locker App! Take inventory of your belongings by walking through your home with your phone, taking pictures and uploading them to Allstate's Digital Locker. The app is free and you don't have to be an Allstate customer to use it. You can download Allstate Digital Locker from Apple or Google Play. If you're a small business owner, consider using Allstate's free Commercial Locker.
- Finally: Practice an Evacuation Plan! Know your local evacuation routes and practice an escape plan with the entire family. Think of it as a school fire drill. Imagine if local authorities or law enforcement officers say it's time to leave. How quickly can you gather your family and get out? Download a plan at ready.gov to help get you started.
This year, Allstate wants people to take their preparations one step further. The company is urging families to take action by building an emergency kit, evacuation plan or inventory list. Post a selfie or photo of the family showing how you've prepared for a possible disaster and include #AllstatePrepSweepstakes. Follow us @Allstate or @AllstateNews for details in the coming weeks on how you can enter the contest for a chance to win cool technology to help with disaster preparedness.
"In the wake of recent natural disasters, more people are turning to social media as a primary source of news and information," said McGillivray. "Through the Prepare to be Prepared Contest, we want to motivate people to help keep their families and property safe, better understand the risks they face in their communities and know how to minimize losses in the wake of weather disasters."
McGillivray continued, "We've been in the business of responding to natural disasters for many years. In fact, August 16, 2016, marks the National Catastrophe Team's 20th anniversary. We've seen it all and know how important it is for individuals and families to prepare and keep their families safe, just in case the unthinkable happens."
The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer, protecting approximately 16 million households from life's uncertainties through auto, home, life and other insurance offered through its Allstate, Esurance, Encompass and Answer Financial brand names. Now celebrating its 85th anniversary as an insurer, Allstate is widely known through the slogan "You're In Good Hands With Allstate®." The Allstate brand's network of small businesses offers auto, home, life and retirement products and services to customers in the United States and Canada. In 2015, The Allstate Foundation, Allstate, its employees and agency owners gave $36 million to support local communities. Allstate employees and agency owners donated 230,000 hours of service across the country.
 Every community may experience a disaster, regardless of where you live in the United States. Are you prepared?, The Allstate Foundation, 2016
 Steady Increase in Climate-Related Natural Disasters, AccuWeather.com, Nov. 15, 2013
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SOURCE The Allstate Corporation