Before hurricane season starts you should review your insurance policy so you know exactly what kind of coverage you have. If you need to, add coverage or make any other changes necessary before it is too late. Hurricane damage can be extensive and expensive. If you aren’t properly covered, hurricane damage can be devastating.
In addition, you should collect certain items that you will want to keep safe and secure at all times. These items include your important documents such as copies of wills, birth certificates, marriage certificates, citizenship papers, bank account information, passports, credit account information and a detailed inventory of valuables (this should be prepared way in advance and be updated and added to accordingly) and anything else that you need to keep safe. The original documents should be placed in a safety deposit box. If you plan on evacuating your home before a hurricane strikes, copies of these documents should be taken with you. It is best to store all important paperwork into a sealed plastic bag, this way they will stay dry and you can get to them quickly if needed.
The next step to ensure hurricane preparedness is to have a family plan. A family plan should be made far in advance of an approaching hurricane. First, you need to determine if you are in a hurricane evacuation zone. If you do not live in a hurricane evacuation zone, have a family meeting to discuss hurricane safety. First, you will need to know which room will be the safest to stay in during a hurricane. The best room to act as a hurricane shelter will be a large walk-in closet. If this is not possible, then an interior bathroom with no windows will work.
Designate a family member or friend who lives out of state as the “contact” person. This way, all family members that are in a potential hurricane area, have one person that they can “check in” with to determine everyone’s safety and well-being.
Important contact phone numbers should be placed in a safe place. Children should know when and how to dial 911, in case of an emergency.
Every family member in the home should know how to turn off gas, electric and water. Make sure that you put your hurricane shutters up. If you don’t have hurricane shutters for your windows, then be sure to use pre-cut plywood to securely cover all windows. Do not use any form of pressed wood, as it will become water logged and fall apart during a storm. Bring in all items from outside that could be picked up with high winds: plants, bbq grill, lawn furniture, lawn ornaments, etc. Never throw items into your swimming pool in preparation for a hurricane. If you are preparing your commercial property and or hotel properties, please call our experts as we have a specific commercial disaster mitigation plan that can be easily executed with the properly trained experts working tandem with your risk manager and engineering department.
You will need to stock up on non-perishable food and water. It is recommended that you have at least 1 gallon of water, per person per day to last for 3-7 days. Ideal non-perishable foods include canned foods, juices, snack foods, dry cereals and soups (not concentrated).
Here is a Hurricane checklist of other items to keep handy in the event of an approaching hurricane:
You should either buy a hurricane first aid kit or put one together yourself. Whether you plan on riding the storm out at home, going to a hotel or shelter, you should keep the first aid kit handy in case of any minor emergencies. Your hurricane first aid kit should contain the following necessities:
If you live in a hurricane evacuation zone, you need to decide in advance where you will be going during the hurricane. Choices usually include motels/hotels, friends, family or shelters. Before you leave to go anywhere, you should put a full tank of gas in your car. You may need to drive far and this way you won’t need to stop for a while. Also, make sure that your cell phone is fully charged and that you bring your cell phone charger with you.
If you will be staying at a hurricane shelter, you will need to bring enough items for you and your family to the shelter. These items should include clothing, food, water, medication, soap, feminine hygiene products, pillows, blankets, sleeping bags, battery operated radios, and any baby items including diapers, wipes, baby food, formula & toys. Books, cards and games are ideal for older children and adults too. Make sure you bring along the plastic bag that contains all of your important paperwork/documents. If you have pets make sure that the hurricane shelter you choose allows pets. If they do not, you may need to find a special pet shelter. If you do need to take your pet to a shelter, make sure that your pet is current with vaccinations and you have proof in hand. You may be required to show this. Make sure that your pet is wearing its collar with tags and don’t forget the leash. It is also a good idea to take a current photo of your pet in the event that he/she gets lost. Make sure you have enough food, water and medication for your pet and call ahead to make reservations. Also, most pet shelters require that you have your pet in a carrier or cage.
If your hurricane evacuation plan includes going to a hotel or motel, make reservations as far in advance as you can. Rooms will fill up quickly and you don’t want to be shut out. If you are bringing a pet, make sure that it is a pet-friendly hotel. Make sure that you bring your first aid kit, important papers, plenty of clothes, food, water, cash, medication, etc.
Regardless of where you go during the hurricane, your safety and your family’s safety are most important. Stay away from windows and keep listening to the local weather stations for up to date information and instructions. Do not go outside or return to your home until it has been deemed safe by local officials. If possible, try to stay off the streets. If this is not possible, watch out for down wires and debris on the ground. Never walk through puddles after a hurricane as they could be touching fallen power lines. Inspect your home for any hurricane damage. Make sure to take photos or video of all noticeable hurricane damage. To make sure your insurance company is aware of ALL damage and loss, contact Pride Public Adjusters, Inc. 1.800.515.5450