Hurricane season is here and from now through November, it’s especially important to ensure that you are aware of what to do in the event that a hurricane threatens our area. Although it’s easy to think that our area won’t get hit, we have experienced some close calls in recent years, from Hurricane Irene in 2011 to Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Use the following 15 hurricane preparedness tips we have compiled to help you better understand what to do before a storm hits, during the storm, and after it passes.
Before the Hurricane Hits
- Familiarize yourself with the difference between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning. A hurricane watch indicates that a hurricane could hit within the next 24 to 36 hours, while a hurricane warning signifies a more imminent threat that the storm will likely strike within 24 hours.
- Do you have extra batteries? Make sure you have enough flashlights and batteries, as well as a working battery-operated, portable radio.
- Stock up on water and nonperishable goods. You should have three gallons of water for every person in your family.
- Plan an evacuation route with your family well in advance, so that your loved ones are all fully aware of what to do if you need to leave your home suddenly.
- Secure all lawn furniture and any other portable outdoor objects, or move them inside.
- Board up all of your windows and close storm shutters if you have them.
- Gas up. Fill your gas tank completely in case you must leave your home suddenly.
- Update your home inventory. In the event of a loss, having an up-to-date home inventory with photos and the approximate value of your possessions will help accelerate the claims and rebuilding process. Place your home inventory, along with other important records and documents, in waterproof bags.
During the Storm
- If you are able to remain in your home, stay indoors and away from all glass objects. Listen to your portable radio for storm updates, and never attempt to go outside, even if the hurricane appears to have passed. Remain indoors until authorities say otherwise.
- Should you lose power, only use flashlight to see; never attempt to use candles.
- If you are forced to evacuate, leave immediately and let a friend, neighbor, or relative know where you are headed.
After the Hurricane Passes
- Continue listening to the radio for confirmation that the storm has passed, and for updates on when it is safe to return outside.
- If you evacuated your home, wait until authorities declare that it is safe to return.
- Use caution when outdoors after the storm. Steer clear of downed trees and power lines.
- You must also use extreme caution when checking your home for damage. Call a professional to begin scheduling repairs if necessary.
Keeping these safety tips in mind, especially during hurricane season, will arm you with the knowledge you need to protect yourself and your loved ones in the event that a storm threatens your area. In addition to these precautions, it’s also wise to review your homeowners insurance coverage prior to, or at the beginning of hurricane season. Although a standard home insurance policy will cover damage resulting from a windstorm, it typically will not cover flood damage, so you may wish to invest in flood insurance. Similarly, if you’ve renovated your home or made any recent upgrades to it, it’s important to ensure that your coverage is still sufficient.
Remember that when a storm is threatening your area, insurance companies will not allow you to add coverage, increase your limits, or lower your deductibles on existing policies, which is why it’s important to review your coverage before a hurricane warning is issued.
At Barton Insurance Agency, our agents work to ensure that you, your loved ones, and your valuable assets remain protected. For additional safety tips, please review our other blog posts, or connect with us on Facebook. To get a free quote for homeowners insurance, please call us today at 603-526-6991 or submit our online quote request form.