Hurricane and Flood Preparedness

August 24, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Posted in Insurance, Safety | Leave a comment

With a threat of a hurricane hitting our area within the next few days, you may also experience flooding in your community. Here are some tips on preparing for the coming storm and the best ways to safeguard lives and property.

Have a Family Plan
Keeping your family safe is your first priority, so develop a Family Disaster Plan.
• First, determine the safest place for your family to be if a hurricane strikes. It might be your home, but it might be with friends or a local shelter. Make sure everyone knows where to meet if you get separated.
• Find out about the established escape routes for your neighborhood. Many communities will block off streets, or change them into one-way avenues, so make sure you know what will happen to make evacuating faster and less stressful.
• Contact an out-of-state friend and ask them to be a point of contact. Many times cell phones won’t work, or will not be properly charged. An out-of-state friend can relay messages to loved ones faster and easier than you may be able to.
• Make plans for your pets. If you are keeping them with you, make sure they have a collar on with identifying information. Keep a photo of them with you so you can show it to others if you lose them. Be sure you have adequate food and water for them and a pet carrier in case you all must evacuate. If you are going to board the animal, make sure it is up to date on all vaccinations and leave important contact information with the facility.
• Be sure to keep a battery powered NOAA weather radio in your home, with extra batteries. This radio will keep you up to date on storm news and data.
• Keep a stocked first aid kit with you, along with a supply kit. Your supply kit should include enough supplies to last you 3-7 days:
        Food (nonperishable)
        Clothing (sturdy shoes and rain gear included)
        Flashlight and batteries

Secure Your Home
After you’re sure you’ve done everything to keep your family safe, take measures to secure your home. Wind damage can be substantial if the wind is allowed to enter the house so take these precautions:
• If you have shutters, make sure that all are closed and securely locked. If you don’t have shutters, you may want to consider boarding up your windows.
• Close and lock all your doors, including your garage doors. You may want to consider installing head and foot bolts on the inactive door or double-entry doors. Make sure your doors have at least three hinges and a dead bolt security lock which has a minimum one inch bolt throw length.
• If you are evacuating, be sure to shut off all water, gas and electricity in the home to prevent damage from broken pipes, wires, etc.
• Park your cars in the garage, not in the driveway or on the street. They’ll be safer from flying debris or falling trees.

Make Sure You Have the Proper Insurance
Many homeowners policies contain exclusions for wind damage and flooding. Contact your agent to review your policy and ensure you’re properly protected!

Visit our catastrophe page for additional information.


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