Sometimes life hands you "the perfect storm." For South Texas, the storm is a two-pronged threat: the surging number of COVID-19 cases and the landfall of Hurricane Hanna. This unprecedented situation has made relief, repair, and a community-based approach to rebuilding especially problematic in the wake of the storm.
The Compounding Impact of Natural Disasters on Social Distancing
Hurricane Hanna touched down on the South coast of Texas on July 25, bringing with it 15 inches of rain, 90 MPH winds, flooding, and widespread power outages. Now, in the aftermath, cities like Corpus Christi are left to pick up the pieces, including dealing with significant property damage. That's no easy task given that Nueces County, where Corpus Christi is located, is a current COVID-19 hotspot with more than 2,000 new cases diagnosed in the last week. Communities all over Southern Texas are imperiled by the aftermath of the storm and the burgeoning outbreak, with health experts pleading for citizens to maintain hygiene and social distancing practices.
Adding to the worry is the NOAA forecast for 2020. This year, the agency is calling for a busier-than-normal storm season with up to 19 named storms projected. That makes Texas a case study in how to handle a natural disaster during a pandemic. This situation will undoubtedly affect various recovery efforts. However, public insurance claims adjusters, who perform a vital service in the aftermath of a major storm like Hanna, are mostly unaffected by the COVID-19 challenge due to the industry's use of technology and protective equipment.
Using Technology to Maintain Safety
Jansen Adjusters International is prepared to hit the ground running in response to Hurricane Hanna. To keep clients and their communities safe, we've embraced a format that allows for contactless visits with the businesses that we service. To achieve contact-free interaction with those clients, we've chosen to employ numerous safety protocols for our on-site inspections.
To aid in the fast and accurate resolution of our claims, we employ the Matterport 3D Camera platform. This powerful software platform lets an estimator get needed images of damaged property quickly, so they can get in and out without the need for extensive public interaction. The Matterport platform works in conjunction with many digital cameras as well as iPhones, allowing users to create a highly detailed render of any damaged property, from small residential spaces all the way up to large hotels.
Images generated using the Matterport platform are compatible with VR headsets. This allows the estimator to "step into" the damaged property and take the needed time to evaluate and assess the damage without actually being on site.
We use drone technology to augment our on-site imaging. Through drone use, we are able to perform both visual and thermal inspections from an appropriate social distance. Visual inspections allow us to see a bird's-eye view of the damaged property, while a thermal scan gives us additional information about the integrity of a damaged building's roof, helping adjusters to avoid false negatives and providing the evidence to advocate for a full and fair settlement of our clients' claims.
We believe in using a remote format for as much of the claims-adjusting process as possible. We are currently conducting all essential meetings via video conferencing, in line with current CDC recommendations.
If we do need to meet with clients, lawyers, or other professionals in person, our adjusters are outfitted with all appropriate personal protective equipment, including masks and gloves. In addition to these interventions, our team will always maintain adequate social space during in-person interactions.
A Public Adjuster Can Help You Move Your Claim Along in Times of Emergency
In the coming days, areas affected by this hurricane season are going to need estimators, claims adjusters, and content specialists on the ground, ready to assess the damage and to begin the repair process. Public adjusters, armed with cutting-edge technology, are the best resource to get claims moving along quickly while ensuring that those claims fully satisfy their clients' losses. South Texas needs assistance; we can help provide relief to residents and businesses affected by tropical depression Hanna.