Both Bloomington-based State Farm Insurance and Country Financial have mobilized catastrophe teams as Hurricane Matthew moves closer to the U. S. coast and gains strength.
Country Financial has moved its Loss Reporting Unit and First Contact Team into place to handle initial contacts with customers beginning Saturday. Company officials say cat teams and claims representatives are ready to handle auto, home and commercial claims, and are monitoring strength and direction of the storm, which could result in added staffing.
State Farm has also sent catastrophe workers to the east coast.
Meanwhile, as officials warn coastal residents to get out of Hurricane Matthew's path, Illinois elections officials are putting out a notice of their own.
The Illinois National Guard hasn't been activated to help. Nor has the Illinois Emergency Management Agency received a request. IEMA's spokeswoman says the state is part of a pact in which Illinois could be called on to help. She says that'd likely happen after any potential damage. Illinois sent about 2,500 employees out following Hurricane Katrina.
With an election looming, the Illinois State Board of Elections isn't taking any chances. The board sent an advisory urging utility workers and volunteers who may assist in anticipated clean-up efforts to vote early.
The board says they may not be back in time to cast a ballot on election day. And logistics may mean there won't be time for a mail-in ballot to be requested, sent and returned.