This past week, the worst thing that Hurricane Arthur did in most of the country was raise doubts about whether Americans should go out to see Fourth of July fireworks or sit home and re-read their favorite LifeHealthPro.com articles. Arthur did everyone the favor of reminding us that we ought to take a look at whatever backpacks, pantry shelves or closet shelves of emergency supplies we happen to have, whether those happen to be supplies designed mainly to help us deal with reasonably predictable threats, such as hurricanes and wildfires, or bolts out of the blue, such as house fires, meteor strikes and earthquakes in areas not known for having earthquakes.
It's also a good time for people involved with selling long-term care insurance (LTCI) to think about whether it makes sense for them to use small flashlights or small radios as novelties that potentially serve the dual purpose of marketing producers' personal brand and, possibly, helping the recipients get through difficult events.
See also: LTCI Watch: Communications
In areas known for having earthquakes and hurricanes, it might make sense for producers who are already involved in the community to support efforts to help people who might need extra assistance during an emergency.
Of course, one practical barrier to LTCI producers supporting that sort of effort is that life, health and LTCI agents have faced the business equivalent of a series of hurricanes in the past few years. Agents who were in a good position to pour cash into relief funds after Hurricane Katrina hit may have to reach into the change jar to pay for groceries today.
It might be nice if disaster preparedness officials could recognize the role that prosperous traditional insurance agents can play in all manner of community activities, including helping frail elderly people get through disasters, and put in a good word for agents with other agencies, where the officials seem to think that imposing policy changes that wipe out the livelihoods of agents or other small business owners is a trivial matter.
Agents who are making a good living can afford to buy generators, buy good rubber rafts, take time out to attend Red Cross meetings and give out little flashlights. Agents who are getting the grocery money out of the coin jar probably can't.