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Hurricane Prep Tips

Published: June 29, 2020

Prepare Emergency Supplies

Many people only put together a package of food and water when preparing for a storm, but neglect to plan for other aspects of the emergency. Your local grocery store is likely to be out of food for a while, so have enough non-perishable food for everyone in your household to eat for a week. You’ll also want to budget one gallon of water per person, per day, both for drinking and for sanitation.

However, hurricane prep goes much further than that. You’ll also want to plan for being without power. For these reasons, flashlights are a must. So is a battery-operated radio for listening to the news. You can’t count on your cell phone’s battery to last through an indefinite power outage.

You’ll also want to have a wrench for shutting off your utilities. If the worst should happen and your home suffers from serious damage, you’ll need to be able to shut off water pipes to avoid further damage.

If you can manage it, an emergency generator is also a good idea. Keep it at least ten feet from any doors and windows, to avoid carbon monoxide gas getting into your house.

Supply Checklist:

  • At least one week’s worth of non-perishable food for your household (including pets)
  • A gallon of water per person, per day for drinking and sanitation
  • Flashlights and batteries to last at least a week
  • A Battery-operated radio to stay up to date on the latest hurricane news
  • First aid kit
  • Week supply of any required medications
  • Copies of important documents

Make Family Plans Ahead of Time

Of course, everyday life doesn’t always stop when a hurricane is coming in. And sometimes, the weather forecasters are wrong; a storm can hit further north or south than expected, or the storm surge can move further inland than forecasted.

In the case of these unexpected events, it’s important to have a contingency plan for your family. You’ll want to set a designated meeting point, so everyone knows where to meet up if worse comes to worst. You should also make sure that everyone in your family knows where the nearest hurricane shelter is.

Plan for evacuation orders and consider the needs of all your family members. If anyone has a disability or a chronic illness that requires medication, you’ll need to take that into account. Pets are also a concern. The last thing you want to worry about in an emergency evacuation is needing to make last-minute plans for getting the family cat out.

Get in touch for a free consultation with a public adjuster to get the insurance claim help you deserve for your property.

Prepare Your Property

There are two main dangers from a hurricane: flooding and high winds. If you live in a flood zone, move electronics and important documents to the most elevated area of your house to keep them safe. If you need to evacuate, make sure your utilities and appliances are unplugged and turned off. Powered appliances can cause a fire if flooding causes a short-circuit, and an extinguished pilot light can leak gas, creating a fire hazard.

Wind generally damages your house by knocking trees or branches into the windows. If you have any dead trees on your property, or any loose branches or debris lying around, get them removed as soon as possible to alleviate this risk. If you’re in the path of the storm, it’s also a good idea to board up your windows to prevent serious damage from flying debris.

Take Lots of Pictures

Before you leave, take as many pictures as you can. This applies both to your home and your business. Remember, the more documentation you have, the easier it will be to prove later on that your property was damaged by the storm, and didn’t already look that way.

The most important things to photograph are the floors and walls in the first story. In the event of flood damage, these photos can confirm the original condition of the structure. It’s also important to photograph windows, gutters, and your roof, which are the areas of a building most commonly damaged by high winds. If you have any other structures, like a detached garage or tool shed, take pictures of those as well. Small structures may be destroyed altogether by a storm. The same goes for fences.

What if I Need to File an Insurance Claim?

If your home or business ends up being damaged, call your insurance company as soon as possible after the hurricane passes. The sooner you file your claim, the sooner you can be reimbursed for damages.

If you need assistance with handling a hurricane damage insurance claim a licensed public adjuster can help.

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