Although hurricane season began in June, the peak time for severe storms has yet to arrive. Ten of the most damaging hurricanes on record fell between August and October, meaning now is the time to make sure you and your family are prepared.
Taking proactive steps to protect your family and property from hurricanes and severe storms before they hit can save lives and minimize damage to your home or business. Severe storms including hail storms, tornadoes, floods and hurricanes cause billions of dollars in damage in the United States every year. When big storms hit, many families find themselves disorganized and unprepared. When preparing for a storm, it is important to have a storm plan and to make sure everyone in your home is aware of the plan. Below you will find some emergency preparedness tips that will keep you and your family safe in the event of a storm.
- Prepare your property:
- Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
- Bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
- Keep all trees and shrubs well trimmed so they are more wind-resistant.
- Secure your home by closing shutters, and bring outdoor objects inside.
- Turn off utilities as instructed.
- Remember to turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
- Maintain a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water.
- Prepare your family – You may not be with your family or friends when disaster strikes. It is important that you meet with your family to create an emergency plan. Pick two places to meet: a spot outside your home for an emergency, and a place away from your neighborhood in case you cannot return home. Choose an out of state friend as your family’s point of contact for everyone to call if the family gets separated. Discuss what you would do if advised to evacuate.
- Build an emergency supply kit with the following items:
- Water (one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days) for drinking
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered radio
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Cell phone with chargers
- Be aware of flooding – Hurricanes can produce widespread torrential rains triggering a flash flood, which can occur within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall. Slow moving storms and tropical storms moving into mountainous regions tend to produce especially heavy rain, and can cause landslides or mudslides. When hurricanes weaken into tropical storms, they generate rainfall and flooding that can be especially damaging since the rain collects in one place.
At The Insurance Center it is our job to make sure you and your loved ones are prepared for the unexpected. For more information on how to stay safe and protect your property during a severe storm, call your agent at 603.542.2551.