Advice on role of insurance in disasters

 â€œDisasters and Insurance,” a free public seminar scheduled in May in Tacoma, Sumner, Lakewood and Gig Harbor, will offer information for consumers about how insurance works when it comes to natural disasters, and what people can do to reduce their risk. 

The sessions, sponsored by Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources and featuring industry experts, will be held on:

  • May 7 at 12:30 p.m. at the Pierce County Annex, 2401 S. 35th St. in Tacoma.
  • May 8 at 12:10 p.m. at the County-City Building’s seventh-floor conference room, 930 Tacoma Ave. S. in Tacoma.
  • May 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the Gig Harbor branch of Pierce County Library System, 4424 Point Fosdick Drive NW.
  • May 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the Sumner branch of Pierce County Library System, 1116 Fryar Ave.
  • May 16 at 6:30 p.m. at Lakewood Senior Activity Center at 9112 Lakewood Dr, SW.
  • May 19 at 10:30 a.m. at the Parkland-Spanaway branch of Pierce County Library System, 13718 Pacific Ave. S.

The sessions will be information-only—no sales, officials said. Additional information about the presentations is available from the Aging and Disability Resource Center at 253-798-4600.

Officials note that Pierce County is in the crosshairs for a wide range of natural disasters – wind storms, flooding, mudslides, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcano eruptions, and fires. Experts say homeowners and renters need to give careful consideration not only to surviving a potential disaster when it happens, but how they will carry on in the days, weeks, months and years after an event.

“For many people, there’s an ‘it won’t happen to me,’” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, manager of Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources, a division of county government. “We’ve all watched scenes of devastation on the news where families and individuals have lost it all, even when they thought they were secure. It’s important to know how insurance works.”