The COVID-19 crisis was unprecedented, but hurricane season is not. Having an idea of when to expect potentially destructive weather allows people to prepare beforehand. The Atlantic hurricane season is June 1 – November 30 and experts are predicting a 60% chance of an above-normal hurricane season this year. Here are our tips for staying safe, prepared, and proactive:
Know Your Risk!
Contrary to popular belief, hurricanes are not just a coastal problem. Make sure to visit the National Weather Service Hurricane Preparedness page to find out what kinds of hazards your area is most at risk of facing.
Know Your Insurance!
Check your insurance policy to make sure you have wind and wind-driven rain coverage. While homeowners’ insurance typically covers the cost of repairs, it does not cover any flood-related damage. Flood insurance may be especially important if you live on the coast or in an area of low elevation. Damage caused by wind and wind-driven rain may also not be covered by your typical homeowners’ insurance policy. Make sure to contact your insurance professional to make sure you have a complete understanding of the kinds of damages covered by your insurance policy. Strongly consider purchasing wind and wind-driven rain coverage if you do not have it.
Know Your Roof!
Now is the time to check up on the condition of your roof prior to any damage caused by the incoming hurricane season. If you can safely get on top of your roof (emphasis on “safely”), take some photos of the most important elements: shingles, drainage pipes, windows, and any other components at risk of damage. You should also photograph your ceilings, walls, flooring, and other internal structures that could potentially be affected by flooding and rain damage. These photos will serve as a reference for the state of your home prior to any hurricane damage, and will allow for you to prove the origin of any new damage to your insurance provider.
Know Your Route!
While local governments will always administer instructions for evacuation based on your area, it is an excellent idea to plan your evacuation route ahead of time. Mandatory evacuations can often be rushed and full of traffic, so knowing what to bring, when to leave, and where to go is a surefire way to avoid any unnecessary hassle. Identify the nearest places of shelter to you and your family, map your driving route towards these shelters or inland, and make sure your important papers, prescriptions, and valuables are stored in a safe, easily-accessible location. It is also wise to make sure you have appropriate food and carriers on hand if you have any furry friends joining you in evacuation. Check with any senior neighbors to see if you can be of assistance in planning for a hurricane evacuation to others in your community!
Know Your News!
Danger preparedness starts with staying informed. Download the FEMA app for alerts from the National Weather Service in real-time, make sure to identify local news channels that cover weather forecasts and emergency alerts, and get yourself a portable NOAA weather radio just in case power ceases. Register for your area’s community alert system and familiarize yourself with the Emergency Alert System.
While preparing for unthinkable disasters can be scary and foreboding, remember that you are doing your family and yourself a huge service by staying prepared in times of great uncertainty. Be well and stay safe!
Matthew does not want insurance companies to take advantage of people who may not understand their rights when they have been hurt in some way by no fault of their own. Matthew works hard to ensure that insurance companies give to these harmed individuals the compensation that they deserve. Matthew believes that intense work and focus combined with critical legal analysis can allow him to bring strong results for injured people.