Tips to Be Prepared for Hurricane Season

Home Repair, LLC Shares Hurricane Preparedness Tips During Hurricane Preparedness Week
It’s National Hurricane Preparedness Week! It’s time to get ready for Hurricane Season in the Atlantic Basin which runs from June 1 to November 30 each year.  Check out these great tips from the National Weather Service to help you determine your personal hurricane risk, find out if you live in a hurricane evacuation zone, review/update insurance policies, prepare your home and business and gather emergency supplies. If you live in hurricane-prone areas, now is a good time to get ready. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), hurricanes have caused eight of the ten costliest disasters ever in U.S. history. Just a few inches of water and/or strong winds can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. Throughout the season, forecasters watch hurricanes as they develop hundreds of miles off the coast. While we may be alerted that a hurricane is coming, often, we don’t know the impact it will have on a community until well after landfall. To ensure the safety of you and your family, don’t wait until it’s too late to prepare; know your zone.

1. Determine Your Risk

The threats from hurricanes to you and your family can vary widely depending on where you live. It’s not just those along the coast that can experience significant, life-threatening impacts. Evaluate what you need to do to protect your home and family now, before the first storm of the season even forms.

2. Develop An Evacuation Plan

Take some time to create or edit your hurricane evacuation plan. The first thing you need to do is find out if you live in a storm surge hurricane evacuation zone or if you’re in a home that would be unsafe during a hurricane. If you are, figure out where you’d go and how you’d get there if told to evacuate. You do not need to travel hundreds of miles. Identify someone, perhaps a friend or relative who doesn’t live in an evacuation zone or unsafe home, and coordinate with them to use their home as your evacuation destination. Be sure to account for your pets, as most local shelters do not permit them. Put the plan in writing and/ or type it up and save it online and back it up on the cloud. As hurricane season approaches, listen to local officials on questions related to how you may need to adjust any evacuation plans based on the latest health and safety guidelines from the CDC and your local officials. Zones by State

3. Assemble Emergency Supplies

Just having enough supplies to make it through a hurricane isn’t enough. You need plenty to make it through what might be a long recovery period too. Water and electricity could be out for a week or more. Have enough non-perishable food, water and medicine to last each person in your family for a minimum of one week. Don’t forget pet food. Also make sure you have extra cash, a battery-powered radio, flashlights, and a portable crank or solar powered USB charger to charge your cell phone. The CDC recommends if you need to go to a public shelter, bring at least two cloth face coverings for each person and, if possible, hand sanitizer. (Children under two years old and people having trouble breathing should not wear face coverings).

4. Review Your Insurance Policies

Call your insurance agent and ask for an insurance checkup to make sure you have enough homeowners insurance to repair or even replace your home. The same goes if you own a business. Ensure you’re adequately covered and understand exclusions. Many states have increased deductibles for hurricanes and not all hurricane related losses are covered under traditional policies. And remember, standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding. Whether you’re a homeowner or renter, you’ll need a separate policy for flooding. Flood insurance ensures that consumers have adequate financial protection against the devastating effects of flooding, without having to rely on post-disaster loans (usually paid back with interest) or emergency assistance. Act now as flood insurance requires a 30-day waiting period. Learn more about FEMA’s Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). If you rent, make sure to review your renter’s insurance policy as well. These are also important to protect your belongings. Ensure that your insurance policies are printed and saved online and backed up on the cloud so they’re easily accessible when you need them. It’s also a good idea to create a Home Inventory List and/or Business Inventory List, and include your major belongings along with photographs in the instance you ever need to file a claim.

5. Prepare Your Property

If you plan to ride out a hurricane in your home, make sure it is in good repair and up to local hurricane building code specifications. Remember, the garage door is the most vulnerable part of the home, so it must be able to withstand high winds. If you own a business, ensure that the property is ready to withstand heavy winds and rains. Have the proper plywood, steel or aluminum panels to board up the windows and doors of your properties. Check out FEMA’s Mitigation Fact Sheets.

6. Help Your Neighbors Plan Ahead

Many Americans rely on their neighbors after a disaster, but there are also many ways you can help your neighbors before a hurricane approaches. Learn about all the different actions you and your neighbors can take to prepare and recover from the hazards associated with hurricanes. Start the conversation now with these Neighbor Helping Neighbor strategies, and remember you may need to adjust your preparedness plans based on the latest health and safety guidelines from the CDC and your local officials.

7. Complete Your Written/Typed Plan

The time to prepare for a hurricane is now, before the season begins on June 1. Having a written plan will take the guesswork out of what you need to do to protect you, your family, and your property. It’s important to be prepared. And by written, we mean typed, backed up on the cloud, and emailed to your family and friends that need to be informed.

8. Download Local & National Weather Alert Apps

Sign up for local alerts on your phone. Visit Ready.Gov Alerts and learn how to search for local alerts and weather apps that are relevant for hazards that affect your area. Download the FEMA app for disaster resources, weather alerts, and safety tips. Sign up now so you’re prepared when the weather gets worse.

Be Prepared.

At Home Repair, LLC, we have definitely witnessed our share of hurricanes over the last 25 years. Being prepared is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your property. We proudly serve property owners in Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia. It’s important to know your risk level and zone, even in areas where hurricanes aren’t common. Previous hurricanes including Sandy, Irene and Agnes have proven that the effects can spread to areas inland, including statewide power outages and costly property damage. Together, we can do our best to be prepared and mitigate risk.

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