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Early warning, education can help save on home insurance policies

The federal government has a program that communities can participate in that can help save lives and property in the event of severe weather.

Entire communities may be able to help residents save money on their home insurance policies with help from a federal program that encourages early warnings and education for severe weather events.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website, about 90 percent of all presidentially declared disasters are weather related. These cause about 500 deaths per year and cause nearly $14 billion in damage, much of which ends up being covered by insurers for private property damage.

The program in question is called StormReady, which is currently active in hundreds of communities in 49 states, along with places such as educational and military facilities. According to the NOAA, the program helped save 50 people at a movie theater in 2002 by alerting them of a dangerous approaching storm in time to move them to safer parts of the building.

To participate, communities must meet a variety of different criteria, which include providing various public education presentations on severe weather, and establishing early warning systems for area residents.

Regardless of whether their community participates in this program, consumers can also take a number of other steps to help reduce the risk of damage from severe weather. By doing so, they may save themselves from injury and their property from excessive damage. In some cases, people who do this may also be eligible for discounts on their home insurance policies.

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Posted: October 14, 2009

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