The official start date for hurricane season is June 1, and First Pioneer Insurance Agency is working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as part of a “National Level Exercise.”

During this exercise, designed to help FEMA and other federal partners, state and local governments, and the private sector fine-tune its disaster response using a mock hurricane as the basis, First Pioneer Insurance is urging residents and business owners to also take time to prepare for hurricane season.

Residents should assemble a go-bag: disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, medications, and copies of critical information. They should also establish an evacuation route and make a communications plan with family and coworkers. Visit for more information.

One of the most important steps residents and business owners can take today is to buy flood insurance, which allows individuals, communities, and businesses to recover faster and more fully after a disaster. Most homeowners, renters, and business insurance policies typically do not cover flood damage.

Flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster, with over 98 percent of counties in the United States experiencing a flood. More than 20 percent of flood insurance claims are for properties located outside of high risk areas.

When Hurricane Matthew hit North Carolina in early October 2016, hurricane-related flooding impacted more than 100,000 structures in the state valued at $1.5 billion. Unfortunately, many households and businesses impacted by the storm did not have flood insurance.

With flood insurance, residents can protect their homes, belongings, and their finances. Just one inch of water in a home can cost more than $25,000 in damage. “We join FEMA in urging you to act today so you can protect your family, home, and business before disaster strikes,” said Wayne Matthews and Clayton Evans, First Pioneer Insurance Agency owners.

Flood insurance policies typically take 30 days to go into effect. Don’t wait until disaster strikes to learn that you’re not covered. Visit or to learn more about flood insurance, or call First Pioneer Insurance at 910-944-2848 to speak with an agent in your area.

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