The People of Weather-Ready Nation: Marguerite Tortorello, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI)

Date Posted: September 25, 2014
Heather Wade, Coastal Planning Specialist

NOAA’s Weather-Ready Nation initiative is about building community resilience in the face of increasing vulnerability to extreme weather and water events. In People of Weather-Ready Nation, we sit down with some of the people responsible for building a Weather-Ready Nation. We recently talked to Marguerite Tortorello, the Senior Vice President for Public Affairs for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).

1. What does a Weather-Ready Nation mean to you?

A Weather-Ready Nation means an increased awareness of the threats we all face from hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, floods, winter storms and other events. And it includes the simple steps that we can take as individuals, families, businesses and communities to improve our preparedness. Simple steps, like creating evacuation plans, reinforcing your home or business, learning about wireless emergency alerts and downloading preparedness apps, having an emergency storm kit and reviewing your insurance coverage can help save lives and protect your property.

2. How are you helping to build a Weather-Ready Nation?

PCI is committed to help build a Weather-Ready Nation and has created digital resource preparedness guides for hurricanes, wildfires and tornadoes. These interactive guides contain preparedness checklists and resources, videos, infographics, and fact sheets. PCI is sharing the guides with policyholders, the media, local community and business leaders, and state and federal officials. In addition, PCI has conducted hurricane preparedness webinars, wildfire townhall meetings, and Twitter chats on steps to better prepare for natural catastrophes. PCI has also turned to social media and digital advertising to reach more people, increase awareness on preparedness, and drive engagement in building a Weather-Ready Nation.

Digital Resource Guide: PCI’s Quick Steps for Hurricane Preparedness and Recovery

Digital Resource Guide: PCI’s Quick Steps for Wildfire Disaster Preparedness and Recovery

Infographic: It Only Takes One – Storm Surge and Flood Insurance

Infographic: It Only Takes One – Hurricane Season Fortify Your House

Infographic: Wildfires Homeowners & Renters: Make a Home Inventory

Video: It Only Takes One – 2014 Hurricane Season Home Inventory

Video: Earthquake Insurance Video

3. What is the biggest challenge you see in making the nation ready, responsive, and resilient to extreme events?

One of the biggest challenges in building a Weather-Ready Nation is seizing the attention of the public - which is why social media plays a key role in raising awareness. It is challenging to break through the 24-7 news cycle and pop culture coverage to encourage the public to focus on preparedness efforts. It is exciting to see NOAA, other government entities, insurers, business leaders, schools and other key stakeholders using Twitter, Facebook and other social media tools to raise awareness and engage people in these important preparedness discussions.  


Marguerite Tortorello is the Senior Vice President for Public Affairs for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI). Previously, Marguerite served in the President George W. Bush Administration as Special Assistant to the President and Director of Presidential Correspondence. Marguerite also worked for the Texas Rangers Baseball Team and began her career as a high school special education teacher.