Preparing for the Storm: Lessons from Hurricane Otis
By: Jeremiah Kiefer

As an insurance professional who come this time each year lives with the reality that a hurricane could strike resulting in weeks, if not months, of personal entrenchment while leading Deft's overall response for our clients, I often take my eye off the ball when it comes to getting my own household affairs in order. You know the parable: "The shoemaker's children go barefoot". This was until Hurricane Otis truly got my attention this past fall. For those of you who missed it, Otis was the Category 1 storm that rapidly intensified into a Category 5 juggernaut within a matter of hours before decimating Acapulco. This is truly terrifying, especially with the macro conditions (La Nina pattern combined with scorching ocean temperatures only exacerbated by this recent heat dome that has remained parked over the Gulf for weeks) in play going into the 2024 hurricane season. We must pay attention to every storm as if it will be the storm that disrupts both personal and work lives. 

Ensuring the safety and well-being of our families is a top priority. A major hurricane can lead to widespread destruction, power outages, and disruptions to essential services. By preparing our households, we can reduce the stress and worry about our loved ones' safety while we are on the front lines. This preparation includes securing the home, protecting valuables, and having a well-defined emergency plan. By doing so, we not only minimize potential personal losses but also ensure a smoother recovery process for ourselves and our families. If you live in the Southeast especially, have a plan in place and execute it now before it is too late. A well-prepared household allows for a seamless transition to our professional duties, enabling us to respond effectively without personal distractions. As experts in the insurance industry, we have a responsibility to lead by example. By proactively preparing our own households, we demonstrate the importance of preparedness to our clients and the broader community. This proactive approach enhances our professional effectiveness and reinforces the critical message of preparedness within our industry and society as a whole. 



Maximizing Efficiency Through Collaboration
By: Darin Bradley