May 28, 2020
Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30 each year. This year, forecasters predict an above-normal hurricane season with approximately 13 to 19 named storms. Although we’re all focused on flattening the COVID-19 curve and preparing to safely reopen our country, you should also prepare for the upcoming hurricane season, whether you live in a hurricane-prone area or not. Consider the following hurricane preparedness tips:
A “Hurricane Watch” means it is possible a hurricane may hit your area, whereas a “Hurricane Warning” means that hurricane conditions are expected. Hurricane watches are typically issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated storm and hurricane warnings are issued 36 hours in advance. Be sure to review your hurricane preparedness plan, gather necessary supplies, and create a communication plan for your family members.
Whenever a storm warning is issued, many people race to the stores to gather supplies. Stay ahead of the store rush by preparing your emergency kit early. You should have extra batteries, a portable weather radio, candles, matches, a three-day supply of drinking water per person and pets in your home, first-aid supplies, non-perishable food items, and a basic tool kit. If you need to evacuate, bring these supplies with you.
A standard homeowner’s insurance policy protects your property from a variety of disasters — but there are exclusions. Talk with your independent agent about any coverage gaps. As a part of your hurricane preparedness plan, you may want to discuss the need for flood insurance with your independent agent, too. You should also review your policy limits to make sure the amount is enough to rebuild your home in the event of a hurricane. Remember: the current market value and the replacement cost of your home are NOT the same.
You can prepare your home for a hurricane with a few safety tips, but don’t wait until the last minute to gather all of the essentials! If you know a hurricane may hit your area, bring in any loose items such as garbage cans, umbrellas, and lawn furniture. Loose items can cause severe damage or fatalities during high winds. Cut off any weak branches on trees that could be broken off by high winds and cause property damage not only to your home but also to your neighbors’ homes. Have your roof inspected for signs of wear or damage. If you have a shingle roof, look for loose broken or missing tabs and cracked, buckling or curling shingles. Finally, prepare, test, and inspect generators, sump pumps, and drains for optimal operating capacity.
Have your building inspected and conduct the proper maintenance for it to stand up against severe weather. Do you have a business continuity plan? If you don’t have one now, prepare one now. Your business continuity plan should include an assessment of business processes, areas of vulnerability, and potential losses. The plan should also identify critical functions, business areas, and a plan to maintain operations in a variety of situations. Conduct simulation exercises with your staff to prepare them on how to respond in a proper and safe manner.
First, protect yourself and your family members. When a hurricane strikes, damage could be severe to homes, buildings, power lines and leave dangerous debris. Contact your local officials before entering a building with severe structural damage and be extremely careful when assessing the damage. Wear protective eyewear and gloves! Next, report the loss as soon as possible and prepare a list of damaged items with photographs or videos.
This summary is for general informational use only and may not include all relevant information.