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AAA Texas Offers Hurricane Rita Recovery Tips For Vehicles and Homes

HOUSTON--Sept. 26, 2005--Victims of Hurricane Rita should beware of starting flooded vehicles, according to AAA Texas, or they could cause serious damage. Homeowners also need to take precautions before and after filing insurance claims.

AAA Texas recommends the following tips for dealing with flooded vehicles:

-- If your vehicle sustained visible damage, note the damage and take photographs for claims adjusters.

-- If your vehicle was driven in high water, do not restart it as this could cause more damage.

-- Any flooding above the bottom door of a vehicle, which saturates the carpet, is a clear indication that the vehicle was driven in high water.

-- Vehicles that have been flooded may have damage to the air intake system, which can result in severe engine damage. Sensitive electronics such as airbags may also be affected.

-- Any vehicle suffering flood damage should be taken to a reputable repair shop for inspection after you report a claim. Do not repair flooded vehicles yourself as it often takes proper equipment to detect all storm damage.

-- To find a reputable repair shop ask a repair shop for credentials such as AAA's Approved Auto Repair, ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) and BBB (Better Business Bureau) certifications.


-- Check your house and vehicle for damage.

-- Prepare an inventory of damaged property

-- Try to store undamaged property in a protected place where it won't be stolen

-- Take photographs of damaged property for the claims adjuster before any clean-up is done.

-- Cover broken windows and other holes to prevent further damage.

-- Dry out the area as much as you can.

-- If carpet is soaked, remove it and carpet pad. Keep a two-foot square piece for the claims adjuster.

-- Run AC, dehumidifier and fans constantly. Repair if necessary.

-- If power is out, disconnect all computers and appliances from electrical sources.

-- Open cabinet doors and elevate furniture so air can circulate and aid in drying out process.

-- Wash wet CD's or LP records with warm water and dry

-- Save wet books or photo albums by putting them on edge in a frost free freezer.

-- Test drywall for moisture softness. If soft, cut holes at base to help dry out.

-- Try to be present when the adjuster inspects your damage.

All AAA Texas offices, except Humble, will be open on Monday, September 26th. AAA members can also obtain services and information via the company's Website at The company's roadside assistance service will remain in service 24-hours around the clock. Members requesting roadside assistance should be aware that service may be delayed or interrupted because of the volume of requests following Hurricane Rita.

Members, who have their homes or vehicles insured with AAA Texas, can call the AAA Texas claims hotline at 1.800.672.5246 to file storm damage claims.

AAA Texas, an affiliate of AAA National, has been serving Texans since 1902. Today, more than a million AAA Texas members benefit from the organization's roadside assistance service, travel agency, financial products, insurance products and services, automotive pricing, buying and financing, trip planning services, and traffic safety programs. Information about these products and services is available on AAA Texas' web site at