It’s hard to believe that hurricane season officially started on June 1st and there have already been two named storms. Keeping that in mind, it’s never too early to make sure you have the essential CAT adjuster items in place before the season gets into full swing.
Before joining Geomni, project manager Cory Shelton worked as a CAT adjuster. Cory recently sat down with us to share some of the things he wished he had known when he was starting out in the adjusting field.
Cory shares his thoughts in the video below, but we also encourage you to read the article and download the Start of Storm Season Checklist at the end to use as a reference!
Prep Your Vehicle
The adjuster’s truck is by and large the most important item to prepare for the season. Not only will you spend most of your time in it, but it needs to be able to protect you from the elements if for some reason you get caught in a dangerous weather situation.
Make sure your truck is up to date on oil changes, tires and is equipped with a power inverter of at least 400W and a spare fuel jug. It also helps to keep healthy snacks in the vehicle so that you’re eating properly. Consider a diesel truck if your budget allows for the extra fuel and towing capacity.
Check Your Hardware
An adjuster can’t do much without the hardware. A larger, 30-plus foot fiberglass ladder is recommended for reaching taller roofs. Should you need to go inside a property to access the attic, a smaller, collapsible ladder comes in handy as well.
Next, make sure your adjuster belt is fully stocked. This is where you would keep notepads, pencils, pens and measuring tapes. A 50-foot measuring tape will often do the trick, but having a 100-foot measuring tapes helps in case you need to measure something longer, like a fence.
Your laptop should be relatively new, up-to-date on antivirus software (and hopefully virus-free) and have lots of memory and a fast CPU.
Pack Your Go Bag
A go bag contains the adjuster’s personal effects: clothing, personal hygiene products, snacks and whatever else is needed for longer stretches on the road. It’s a good idea to keep a week’s worth of clothing in the go bag so that you can work through a full cycle of clothing before needing to wash anything.
Know Your Resources
Having these items checked off isn’t quite enough, though. If you’re first starting out, you’ll likely go through a staging process where you get introduced to local CAT managers, file reviewers and other on-site resources. Make sure you get to know them.
It’s critical to build a good rapport with the people you meet in the field. They’re often the ones who will help make sure you’re writing a good estimate or where your assignments are going to be. The better the relationship with local management is, for example, the better your chances of covering more assignments on the storm will be. And that means making more money as a CAT adjuster.
Make sure to grab a copy of our Start of Storm Season Checklist to help you prepare for hurricane season. Click here to download it!