Hurricane Preparedness

Hurricane Preparedness Tips

Hurricane season begins June 1st and lasts through November 30th. Hurricanes are dangerous and can result in devastating losses. The following are some helpful tips to help you through this year’s hurricane season.   See our Video Tips.   

Introduction |  Tapeing Windows | Flood Protection                 

 STOCK EMERGENCY SUPPLIES - These items include the following:

• Canned food items and a manual can opener
• Bottled Water
• First aid kit
• Medications and prescriptions
• Flashlights and plenty of fresh batteries
• Disposable flash camera for pictures of post-storm damage
• Pen and paper
• Extra blankets and clothing
• Alternate cooking source
• Special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members
• Crescent or pipe wrench to turn off gas and water
• One quart of unscented bleach or iodine tablets
• Personal hygiene items: soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes
• Fire extinguisher

HAVE AN OUT-OF-STATE CONTACT - Identify an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the official family contact, and be sure all family members have this person's contact information.

KNOW HOW TO SHUT OFF YOUR UTILITIES - In the event that electricity is lost, be sure to turn the main switches in the circuit breaker box to the off position. Make sure all household appliances are turned off, as no one may be home when power is restored. Appliances left on could cause a fire.

PROTECT VALUABLES FROM WATER DAMAGE - Photograph and/or video both the interior and exterior of your home for a record of all valuables. Make sure to store originals of important documents, including birth certificates, banking and credit card information and medical records in a waterproof container as well.

REVIEW AND UNDERSTAND INSURANCE COVERAGE - It is important to understand what deductibles in your policy are in place for hurricane damage. You will need to investigate flood insurance, as homeowners policies do not cover water damage that results from a hurricane. Check out the National Flood Insurance Program, which is designed to provide a means for property owners to financially protect themselves when catastrophe strikes.

MAP OUT AN EVACUATION ROUTE - Secure a community hurricane preparedness plan through your local emergency management office or Red Cross chapter and make sure to fill your gas tanks, as you may have to travel long distances inland to find a hotel or shelter.

HAVE A PLAN IN PLACE FOR YOUR PETS - Make a plan now for what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate. Understand that most shelters and hotels will not allow them on the property, so it is critical to determine early on where to house them during a pending storm. Photograph them and make sure they are wearing identification collars in case you lose them during the storm. 

PROTECT YOUR PROPERTY - Close and board up windows with '/z inch marine plywood and make sure to remove all outside antennas. Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed of dead wood and clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts. You should keep extra plywood and plastic for repairs you may need to make after the storm. Be sure to hold onto all receipts to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.

HURRICANE SHUTTERS - Hurricane shutters that have been tested and certified offer the best protection for your home and property. While not as effective, affixing plywood over all of your home's openings will provide some level of increased protection.

SECURE PLAYWOOD - Secure the plywood with nails or screws placed at least every 18 inches along the edges of the sheets of plywood.

TRIM TREES - Trim tree branches that appear to be weak or dead, particularly if they extend over the house. Your safety is important, it may be best to hire a professional tree trimmer or arborist.

WRITTEN VIDEO AND PHOTO INVENTORY - Have a written, video or photographic inventory of your possessions stored in a safe place away from your home. If your home is damaged an inventory will be invaluable in settling the claim.

FLOODING  - Flooding, including tidal or storm surge caused by a hurricane, is not covered by your Homeowners or Wind-Only Policy. Flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program and is coverage we can get for you. You can assess your exposure to a flood loss at the FEMA web site:

Flood Smart Government WebSite 

Call or email me if you have questions. simone.baldwin@horacemann.com