The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently warned of another above-normal Atlantic hurricane season for 2022. They forecast 14 to 21 named storms, of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes. Don’t wait to prepare when a storm is headed your direction. Face this hurricane season with confidence and start preparations today. Take action to stay safe and prevent storm damage to your home or business property. Review our time-tested readiness plan and prepare.
Hurricane Preparedness Planning
- Monitor storm activity at the National Hurricane Center.
- Sign up for local alerts and download FEMA’s mobile app.
- Download the Red Cross First Aid app as an excellent source for how to provide first aid and more.
- Purchase a solar charger for your mobile phone and a battery operated radio to stay informed should a hurricane cause a power outage.
Understand Hurricane Alerts
Should a hurricane threaten your area, the National Weather Service and other news outlets will reference the following threat levels:
- Hurricane watch: A hurricane or tropical storm (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) is possible in the next 48 hours. Monitor alerts, check supplies, and gather anything you might need in case of a power outage.
- Hurricane warning: Experts expect a hurricane or tropical storm to hit the area in the next 36 hours. Listen for calls to evacuate and heed those warnings.
There are similar watches and warnings for tropical storms as well as storm surges, so be prepared to respond accordingly.
Prepare Your Home or Business
- Check for loose shutters, screens, or other items on the building. Tighten and secure as needed.
- Trim back wayward trees and shrubs.
- Store lightweight items such as toys and patio furniture. Secure any objects remaining outside as they can become projectiles in high winds.
- Secure loose wires and cables.
- Protect windows and doors by covering them with plywood or hurricane shutters.
- Remove debris from downspouts and gutters.
- Inspect your roof and repair loose shingles.
- Use caulk to seal doors and windows.
- Test sump pumps and clear exterior drains of debris.
- Test generators and ensure extra fuel is on hand.
- If in an area that could flood, consider placing sandbags around the building perimeter.
Get ready to bug out or stay put.
- Keep your vehicle’s gas tank full.
- Create an evacuation plan and know approved evacuation routes.
- Designate an out-of-state emergency contact. This will be the person everyone in the home contacts if not together during the storm.
- Select a place where everyone in the home can gather in the event of an evacuation. This can be a nearby FEMA shelter.
- Put together a “bug-out” bag to grab if needed which includes mobile essentials.
- Include pets in your plans with pet-friendly hotels or a family member’s house as a safe place. Plan for their food and other physical needs as well.
- Ready an emergency kit for your home which includes:
- Non-perishable food and water for at least three days. One gallon of water per person per day is a good guideline.
- Extra clothes
- Mobile phone
- Solar charger
- Prescriptions. Know how to store them safely, especially if they need refrigeration.
- First aid kit
- Important documents (passports, birth certificates, etc.)
- Toiletries and personal hygiene supplies
- Protective gear
- Waterproof boots
- Irreplaceable items that are also light and portable, such as a child’s favorite stuffed animal or a wedding photo.
- Emergency kits that include many of these items are available for purchase.
Review Insurance Policies with Your Agent
Contact your insurance agent and request an insurance review. Ensure adequate levels of coverage on home and business structures. Coverage levels should allow the building to be fully rebuilt or replaced, taking into account today’s heightened cost of materials and labor. Most home and business insurance policies do not include flood protection. Whether owning, renting, or leasing, a separate policy is needed and is available through your insurance agent. Most flood insurance policies require a thirty-day waiting period, so don’t delay.
Review car and boat policies as well. Liability-only policies will not provide protection should these be damaged by flood. For automobiles, comprehensive coverage needs to be specified on the policy. For boats, various language may be used on the policy but coverage must be listed for the hull plus attached equipment such as motors in the event of weather-related damage. If in doubt, ask your insurance agent.
For an insurance review to ensure you are ready for hurricane season, contact your Bankers Insurance agent. Not a client of ours? Let us compete for your business! Each client is assigned a personal agent in our office, given their email address, and provided a phone number that rings right on their desk. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) provides a helpful overview guide as well. Reference it for further detail.