Drivers' Corner - Truck Talk


As the East Coast continues to recover from the wrath of Hurricane Sandy we must be ever vigilant that the next disaster can be just around corner.  Are you prepared?  Is your family prepared?  Those are the questions we must all ask, but it can be a bit more complicated for those in the trucking industry.  This is because the life of an over the road truck driver is interesting in that generally the driver is alone and away from home for long periods of time.  Disasters don't always wait for drivers to be home or in a safe place, so being prepared is a must.

For those with families, peace of mind can be of the utmost importance.  Considering that, it's important to make sure your family is prepared for a disaster, even if you are trucking on the other side of the country.  FEMA recommends all households maintain a basic disaster kit.  Disaster kits include water, food, radio, flashlight, first aid kit, tools, can openers, and more.

Though a truck has limited space, developing your own disaster kit containing many of the same items for the truck is also important.  After all, how long might you have to stay in your truck if a significant disaster hits?  Be prepared.

For more information on disaster kits, making a plan, and other related information visit: Ready.gov

Craig Fugate, FEMA Administrator, was kind enough to share these thoughts with me as well. "Every disaster is another reminder that emergencies can happen anywhere, anytime, and that everyone should take steps now to be prepared for all possible risks and hazards in their communities. Preparing for emergencies involves three simple steps: get an emergency supply kit, make a family emergency plan, and be informed of the hazards that exist in your area."

"FEMA is just one part of our nation's emergency management team, and the public is probably the most important member," said Fugate. "We encourage everyone to visit Ready.gov to find out how they can prepare their families, businesses and communities for emergencies."

While Hurricane Sandy may have provided the most recent example of a major natural disaster, there are other types of disasters too and it's important to be prepared for any and all.  Jason Brown, Trucking Insurance Agent for Transition Insurance Agency (www.nctrucker.com), says, "As an insurance agent I feel that every time a driver pays attention to insurance they should be in disaster mode.  It's their livelihood."

If you really think about it, what impact does a disaster of any kind have on you?  Well, even the average wreck for a truck driver can be a disaster because it interrupts their revenue, their loads, their credibility, and more.

Whether planning for a major storm, a natural disaster, or any other major event, Jason recommends taking a bit more simple approach first.  "I would encourage truck drivers to look at just a normal accident," says Jason. "That's what they should really be planning for and have a strategy to deal with because in this line of work it is more likely to happen."

Jason recommends truck drivers regularly review and have the following:

- Proper liability limits for bodily injury and property damage.
- Umbrella insurance policy - excess liability coverage for a disaster that goes above the limits on liability. This is a secondary policy to protect assets like home, retirement, and more.  It is also one of the most affordable policies one can buy because it is a secondary policy.  In terms of disaster planning it is one of the cheapest ways to have a large scope of coverage.
- For trucking, consider business interruption coverage in case the truck is wrecked.  Remember, no truck means no income. 

"The key is to have a plan in case a disaster of any level hits," says Jason. "Be prepared for it."

So, regardless of the disaster (hurricane, tornado, truck accident, other) the key is to be prepared.  Make certain your family is prepared and knows what to do if a disaster hits and you are not there.  Make certain you are prepared when you are on the road.  And, make certain you are well prepared to recover from the disaster.

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