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September 13, 2004   Email to Friend 

Debra Davis
(334) 613-4686
September 13, 2004

MONTGOMERY, Ala.-- With Hurricane Ivan taking dead aim at the Florida panhandle and south Alabama, Alfa Insurance Co. and the Alabama Farmers Federation are helping farmers and homeowners prepare to protect their property and learn how to file a claim in the event of damage.

Alfa Farmers President Jerry A. Newby said the company's claims adjusters across the state are on alert, and hotel rooms have been reserved in south Alabama for additional Alfa employees who might be called on to help process claims following Hurricane Ivan.

"Our dedicated claims force is ready to help our policyholders get back on their feet and assist them in any way possible after the storm," Newby said. "We also have generators, equipment and supplies for temporary offices should any of our Alfa service centers be severely damaged or be left without electricity."

Should power outages reach as far as Montgomery, the Alfa headquarters is equipped with a 2,600 horsepower generator that can restore power to the building within 10 seconds of a power failure. The generator was installed following Hurricane Opal in 1995. It can keep the computer systems, telephones, lights and entire building on full power for three days without refueling its 5,000-gallon diesel tank.

Meanwhile, Alfa is advising policyholders what they can do to ensure their claims are processed quickly. These tips include:

1. Make any repairs necessary to prevent further damage.
2. Review your policy to see if it covers loss-of-use expenses like hotel rooms.
3. Inventory your property. Take photographs; record serial numbers of appliance; and prepare a detailed description of personal items. Move automobiles from flood-prone areas.
4. After the storm, visit or call your local Alfa office. Be prepared to provide your policy number, contact information and a detailed account of the severity of your loss.

Alabama Farmers Federation also has compiled both general and commodity-specific hurricane tips for farmers. Those tips are available online at www.alfafarmers.org and include:

1. Make sure equipment and generators are fueled and in good working order.
2. Move equipment and animals to areas safe from flying debris. Equipment may be safer in an open field than in a shed that could collapse from strong winds.
3. Be sure drainage areas are clean in anticipation of heavy rainfall. Lower pond levels, if possible.
4. Keep emergency contact numbers handy including State Veterinarian, (334) 240-7255; Alabama Department of Environmental Management (334) 271-7700; and Alabama Emergency Management Agency, (205) 280-2200.

Additional hurricane preparedness information is available on the Alfa Insurance website at www.alfains.com. A complete list of recommendations for farmers is available at www.alfafarmers.org.

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