As we draw closer to summer, we are quickly approaching hurricane season. Our community has already experienced the severe effects of flooding and storms this year, and our goal is to help prepare you for what this upcoming hurricane season entails. Here are some tips to help you get ready:
- Know the difference between a watch and a warning. A watch means that the conditions are favorable for a hurricane, while a warning means that a storm is already occurring in your area or is imminent. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and be prepared to take action if a warning is issued.
- Stock up on supplies. It's important to have enough bottled water, non-perishable food, and other essentials on hand to last you and your family for at least a few days. Make sure you head to the grocery store in plenty of time because you don’t want to be the last one there, and they are already out of supplies. You may also consider investing in a generator, especially if you live in an area prone to power outages. You never know how long you can be stranded without electricity, and a generator is a great back up plan to make sure you can get your power back up and running in a timely manner.
- Have an evacuation plan. Whether you decide to stay home and bear the storm or get out of town before it hits, it’s essential to have your route mapped out and your car stocked up on gas. You never know how long you could be stranded on a highway and unable to get to a nearby gas station.
- Storm-proofing your home. Like purchasing a generator, making sure you have storm windows installed can be very important. Before leaving home, you want to be sure and board up any exposed windows. It’s also a good idea to trim any trees on your property and secure any loose outdoor items like tables, chairs, flags, etc.
- Check your insurance coverage. Make sure you understand your homeowner's insurance policy and what it covers in the event of hurricane damage. Consider signing up for Citizens insurance if you are a Florida resident and cannot get insurance elsewhere. If you do have insurance, be sure you are familiar with the odds and ins of your policy. It is crucial that you know what exactly you are covered for and for how much. Call your insurance agent today to request a breakdown of your current homeowner and property policies.
- Take photos and videos of your property. Similar to being familiar with your insurance policy(s), you want to make certain you take lots of before and after pictures. This can protect you when filing claims after the storm to show what damage occurred pre and post-storm. Once your insurance adjuster sees the damage, it will be hard to deny due damage reimbursements.
Above all, it is important that you stay informed! Keep an eye on the weather and be sure to follow any local news outlets and emergency management officials for updates on the storm and any resources available to help you prepare.
By taking these steps, you can help ensure that you and your family are prepared for the upcoming hurricane season. Remember, it's always better to be over-prepared than under-prepared when it comes to protecting yourself and your property from severe weather. Stay safe!