ROSHARON, Texas - When you see big brown tents, what do you think of?
Boy Scouts? Maybe.
Army National Guard? Possibly.
How about FEMA? Could be.
But no, these are here for insurance adjusters.
Welcome to Farmers Village.
“We call them cabanas. They’re really called yurts but cabanas sounds better,” Jeff Losey, one of the so-called “mayors” of the camp, said.
This is the first time Farmers Insurance has deployed its “village.”
“We know when a hurricane hits that the lights are going to be out, that there’s going to be no food, and there’s going to be a need for a lot of travel,” Losey said. “The goal is to be able to come out in the middle of nowhere and set up a village.”
The plan first came together after Hurricane Ike and experiences like the one Losey had.
“My co-manager back then, Paul Quinn, and I ended up sleeping in the car ‘cause we didn’t have any place to go,” Losey said.
“It’s one less thing they have to worry about, and that’s our goal here, is to eliminate as many worries for them so they can concentrate on doing their jobs for our customers,” Kim Stafford, the other so-called “mayor,” said.
Mission accomplished. They found Wake Nation and started setting up on Sept. 1. Two days later, 80 insurance agents began to arrive.
“We have a relaxation tent that has table tennis in it. It has a big-screen TV with a couple of sofas, Xbox, movies,” Stafford said.
A daily laundry service and air conditioning are also provided.
“We have set up our big business trailer that holds 30 adjusters. It has Wi-Fi. They can do work out of it,” Losey said.
Decked out bathroom trailers, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Then there’s the view.
“There’s a beautiful back covered porch, overlooks the lake. That in it of itself to just sit in an Adirondack chair,” Stafford said.
Thursday is the last day for the makeshift village. After that, its “residents” will be dispersed into area hotels to continue their six-week stint.
After that, the insurance adjusting won’t end in Houston.
Stafford estimates Farmers Village will be in the area through at least December.
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