June 1 is the beginning of hurricane season in the Atlantic, so it’s important to have a plan in place as soon as possible. Before the threat of a hurricane looms, prepare your family, home and business.
Make a plan
- Have a plan for you and your family.
- Know the hurricane risks in your area; learn the storm surge history and elevation of your area.
- Learn about local shelter plans, including the location of official shelters.
- Have enough non-perishable food and water supplies.
- Have at least a one-week supply of medications on hand.
- Obtain and store materials such as plywood, necessary to properly secure your home or business.
- Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
- Make plans now on what to do with your pets should you be required to evacuate your
Many public health regulations do not allow pets in public shelters, nor do most hotels/motels allow them.
- Individuals with special needs or others requiring more information should contact their
county emergency management office.
Have an emergency supply kit
Take time to gather the essentials and store them in a safe, dry location:
- Flashlights with extra new batteries
- Portable radio with extra new batteries
- Cell phone charger
- First aid kit
- Fire extinguisher, easily accessible and suitable for all types of fires
- A three-day supply of food for each person. Include food for infants or the elderly, a non-electric can opener, cooking utensils, paper/plastic plates and plastic utensils.
- Store a 3-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day). Keep a disinfectant, such as iodine tablets, to purify water, if necessary.
- Extra blankets and clothing may be required to keep warm. Include sturdy shoes which will protect feet from broken glass and debris.
- Alternate cooking source: Store barbecue, charcoal, starter and matches in the event utilities are out of service. Do not use these methods of cooking within a confined area.
- Special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members. Have at least a one week supply of medications and foods for infants and those on special diets.
- Tools: Have a crescent or pipe wrench to turn off gas and water if necessary and know the location of the shut-off valves.
- Important documents, stored in a waterproof container. Include the following: insurance policies, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, as well as cash, credit cards and ATM cards, etc.
Protect your vehicle from water damage
- Park your vehicle on high ground and away from trees.
- Avoid driving in flooded areas.
- If you enter a flooded area, drive slowly and test your brakes after clearing the area.
- Keep the gas tank full.
- Keep a blanket and first aid kit in your vehicle.
- If your vehicle floods, have a mechanic inspect it before restarting it.
Take inventory of your possessions
- When you need to file a claim, the claims process will be faster and easier if you can present your company with a record of your possessions. Take time to write down and photograph the items in each room in your home.
- Store the inventory in a safe location away from your home, and make sure you update your list periodically to keep it current with new purchases.
Review your insurance policy
- Check-in with your insurance agent. Prepare you home and vehicles according to your policy. Know where your insurance documents are located and take them if you evacuate. Remember that most insurance policies don’t include flood coverage, so visit floodsmart.gov for more information on flood insurance.
If you have any questions on your policy, make sure you talk with your independent insurance agent.