Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Gas Effect

Over the last day, gas prices in Hattiesburg have jumped 80 cents.

I spoke with Meredith this morning at the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Office, which thankfully was working on Saturday. It seems that price increases are hitting the entire southeastern United States. The latest estimates indicate that 20% of the country's oil production comes out of the Gulf Coast, and those operations were interrupted by Hurricane Ike.

In Jackson, some gas prices have hit $5/gallon. For full disclosure, however, it does appear that retailers are paying the same increase from their wholesale distributors. These wholesale price increases are hitting independent gas stations just as hard.

Still, we need to make sure that price gouging is not occurring in our state. If you have a question or wish to report possible price gouging, call the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Agency at 601-359-4230. If you wish to report a specific station having high prices, you can email me the name of the station, location, price per gallon, time and date of the price. I'll be glad to pass it on to the AG's office for you.

It's important not to panic. Prices will fall again over the next few days as operations pick back up in the Gulf. However, the shock over gas price increases in just one day is totally understandable, and I'll be glad to help in any way possible. As this instance passes, we need to seriously look at some sort of long-term plan to prevent every storm that blows into the Gulf from becoming a major disruption.

And in the end, we need to keep it in perspective. While we're experiencing some minor inconveniences, there are thousands of people on the Texas coast who are dealing with major losses of property, and in the worst cases, life.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Gustav; Insurance Claim Information

I received this from Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney late this morning.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney wanted you to have this information and telephone numbers to help you provide assistance to your constituents. If you need any further information please don’t hesitate to call on the Mississippi Insurance Department for assistance.

MEMA Public Information Line: 866-519-MEMA.
MS road info MDOT: 866-521-MDOT (6368).
Lousiana road info LDOT:800-469-4828
Lousiana shelter info 225-358-5361
Volunteer information: 1-866-472-8265

Gulf Coast Office of the Mississippi Insurance Department
The MID Coast Office is mobilized and will be available to answer consumer questions and offer assistance in filing claims. To contact the MID Coast Office call 228-867-2202 and 228-867-2203.

Also, check the Mississippi Insurance Department website, which will be updated as information comes in.

The web address is:

Here Are The Known Points of Distribution Sites: Food, water and ice will be distributed to residents in Hancock and Harrison counties beginning at 1 p.m. Tuesday from points of distribution sites from the following locations:

Harrison County:
* Crossroads Mall, U.S. Highway 49, north of Interstate 10,

* Menge Avenue, and Second Street, Pass Christian.
* Yankee Stadium, corner of Lee and Division streets, Biloxi.
* Rite Aid parking lot, 4031 Pops Ferry road, D’Iberville.

Hancock County :
* The Kiln ball field 18324 Highway 43, Kiln.
* Kmart, at the Fred’s old parking lot, 3044 highway 90, Waveland.

Here are insurance claim reporting numbers for your constituents:

Allstate suggests homeowners carefully inspect their homes after a catastrophe for damage. Allstate Insurance Company customers whose homes or automobiles have been damaged or destroyed can contact Allstate through The Good Hands
Network by calling their Allstate agent, dialing 1-800-54-STORM, or visiting

Farmers HelpPoint at 1-800-435-7764.

LLOYD’S of LONDON (Mostly Commercial Claims)
Lloyd's has taken the decision to activate its special hurricane helpline (866-264-2533) for the ease of Lloyd's policyholders in contacting Lloyd's. There will be a special announcement on Lloyd's web site as well.

Claim reporting number 1-800-421-3535.

Customers should contact their local agent or call 800 SF CLAIM.

Claim reporting centers are prepared to take claims 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Customers should report claims directly to Travelers at the numbers listed below. The company asks that they receive claim reports as quickly as possible so that they may provide the best possible response.
* Home, Auto and Boat/Yacht: 800.CLAIM33 (800.252.4633)
* Business: 800.238.6225
* Flood: 800.505.0193

Hurricane mitigation tips for customers are also available on the Claim Services area of the Traveler’s Web site


Policy holders should call this number to report a claim:

A claim can also be filed through the internet at:

If someone has a question concerning a claim that has already been reported they can call one of the following numbers for assistance:

601-957-3200, 601-977-4110, 601-977-4102
601-977-4106, 601-977-4196, 601-977-4103

All the numbers to report claims and contact information are posted on the website.

General Questions/Customer Service: 1-800-754-6919

For new claims:
Fax: 1-877-786-7275

Gustav Update; Second Special Medical Needs Center Open in Hattiesburg

Just in from the Mississippi Department of Health...

Mississippi State Department of Health

News Release
For Immediate Release

Contact: Liz Sharlot, Carol Jarvis Jones, Elizabeth Grey or Matt Staggs - Office of Communications 601-576-7667

Date: September 2, 2008
Time: 1:30 p.m.

Mississippi State Department of Health to Open Second State Special Medical Needs Shelter at Pearl River Community College (Forrest County Center)

Today the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) opened the second state shelter for Mississippians with Special Medical Needs at Pearl River Community College (Forrest County Center), 5448 U.S. Hwy. 49 in Hattiesburg.

Another state Special Medical Needs Shelter remains open on the campus of Hinds Community College in Raymond.

Directions to both state Special Medical Needs Shelters are available by calling Mississippi 2-1-1 or by visiting the MSDH website at

Special Medical Needs Shelters are available to citizens who suffer from a health or medical condition that meets the following criteria:
• Individuals who are in need of assistance for routine care such as eating, walking and using the bathroom.
• Individuals who require ambulatory care, with or without the use of assistive devices.
• Individuals in need of assistance for managing health care, including taking medications or using medical equipment.
• Individuals with the following stable or non-complicated medical issues: diabetes, Foley catheter maintenance, medication maintenance, blood pressure monitoring, severe arthritis, naso-gastric or gastrostomy tubes (home maintenance), ostomy, Alzheimer’s Disease, stable stroke, stable cardiac, stable cancer, stable oxygen and nebulizer therapy (e.g. COPD, Asthma), dressings (must have nursing care plan and supplies) and hospice, if there are no complex issues.

Special Medical Needs Shelters – Page 2

• Other individuals with disabilities including those who are blind, hearing impaired, mobility impaired or with any minor medical condition not listed above.

Residents may bring a caregiver with them to the shelter. The caregiver may be a family member or a healthcare provider. Those persons who are bedridden and require total care may be admitted to a Special Medical Needs Shelter if they are accompanied and cared for by a responsible caregiver and do not require a hospital bed. Conditions in the Special Medical Needs Shelters require that individuals be able to safely sleep on a cot or mat.

Individuals with medical conditions that require more complex care than is available at a Special Needs Medical Shelter should make arrangements with their physician for admission to a hospital or nursing facility.

Residents should bring their medication, medical supplies and equipment along with the contact information of their physician, pharmacy and, if applicable, oxygen supplier. At least seven days of prescription and non-prescription medication and oxygen, if used, is needed.

Additionally, residents should bring important papers and telephone numbers, sheets, blankets and pillows, personal hygiene items, non-perishable special dietary items, personal snacks and drinks, and a flashlight and batteries.

Single parents with young children who qualify for a Special Medical Needs Shelter may bring the children with them if no other plans can be made for their care.

There are no provisions for pets at this shelter with the exception of service animals. Service animals will be allowed inside the residents’ shelter area.
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For more information on hurricane preparedness and safety, or if you would like to volunteer during emergencies, visit the MSDH website at or call us 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-866-HLTHY4U (1-866-458-4948).

Monday, September 1, 2008

Gustav Information; Dialysis/Medical Needs Info

Mississippi State Department of Health

Media Alert
For Immediate Release

Contact: Liz Sharlot, Carol Jarvis Jones, Elizabeth Grey or Matt Staggs - Office of Communications 601-576-7667

Date: August 31, 2008
Time: 12:45 p.m.


Dialysis patients with concerns about maintaining their routine dialysis schedule or the availability of dialysis facilities for evacuees should call the transient treatment travel line toll-free at 1-877-936-9260.

Special Medical Needs Shelters

At this time, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) has opened one state special medical needs shelter at Hinds Community College, 501 Main Street in Raymond.

MSDH will advise the media when additional shelters are opened.

Anyone needing transportation to a special medical needs shelter should call their local emergency management agency or Mississippi 2-1-1.