The first week of May is National Hurricane Preparedness Week, which is dedicated to reminding homeowners, renters, and business owners the importance of being prepared for hurricane season. Any preparations that can be made now before the June 1st start of hurricane season can help better protect your home and personal property from possible hurricane damage.
Let's look at four specific ways homeowners can prepare in advance for hurricane season so their home and family can be safer in the event of tropical storms or hurricanes in our region.
1. Create Evacuation Plans
One of the most overlooked parts of hurricane preparedness is making evacuation plans to flee the path of major hurricanes. Too often, people make plans to protect property but don't think through how they would quickly evacuate or where they could stay if a hurricane threatens their immediate safety.
A good evacuation plan starts with determining the safest routes out of your town or city, and where you could stay until it's safe to return home. This might mean driving to stay with out-of-town relatives or searching for safe hotels or temporary rental properties.
Making evacuation plans now means that if a storm forces you to quickly flee your home, you will know all possible highway or road routes to take to get to a safe location for shelter.
2. Strengthen Your Home
Another key part of hurricane preparedness is protecting the entirety of your property to minimize possible storm damage. Homeowners should know what protections can be put in place now, and how to quickly prepare when a storm is imminent.
How To Strengthen Your Property Now:
• Make sure you know how to correctly shut off water and gas lines in the event of structural damage. Minor home damage can quickly become major damage if gas or water lines are broken due to hurricanes, so shutting these lines off fast can prevent additional losses.
• Have large trees and shrubs pruned back now to remove dead or damaged branches that could snap off and cause injury or damage. It can reduce the weight of overgrown branches and limbs and improve the overall strength, health, and stability of the tree.
• Inspect your roof and fencing for any damage or loose boards or shingles that could come off during a future storm. Getting these repaired now can minimize possible damages if a hurricane hits your home.
How To Prepare Your Home When a Hurricane Is Approaching
• Get plywood or other materials to cover windows and doorways to prevent strong winds from causing more damage.
• Move important furniture, electronics, and valuables to a higher location inside the home to reduce potential damages or losses.
• Make sure all vehicles are either safely in garages or in driveways and not parked at street level to avoid car damage or car flooding.
• Move patio furniture and outdoor items inside to prevent them from becoming projectile objects that could hurt people or nearby property.
Taking these proactive steps can help ensure your home has a better chance of surviving hurricane damage.
3. Assemble Supplies
Hurricane preparedness also means stocking up on supplies, regardless of whether you plan to stay home during a storm or flee to a safer location. This ensures that you have what you need to survive in the event you lose utilities for a significant length of time.
Assembling supplies should include personal supplies for yourself and your loved ones, and home supplies for before and after a hurricane hits your area.
Supplies that can be gathered now include:
- Bottled water for drinking and cooking
- Non-perishable foods and manual can openers
- Batteries and flashlights
- A list of OTC and prescription medication
- Copies of all important documents
- Extra supplies for children and pets
- Sheets of plywood
- Tarps and ropes
- Generator for power
When a hurricane is approaching, residents in its path often wait until the last minute to gather supplies and will usually find only empty shelves. Stocking up on supplies now means your family and home can be better prepared and have the necessities for when it matters most.
4. Review Insurance Coverage
Finally, homeowners and renters should take the time to review their existing personal insurance coverage and make sure they have the policies in place to protect against losses and property damage. Renters should ensure they have Renters Insurance in place to cover property losses from hurricane damage, and homeowners should review their Homeowners coverage amounts, deductibles, and inclusions and exemptions.
All residents should also ensure they have Flood Insurance in place since standard Homeowners and Renters Insurance will not cover any flood related losses or damages. Any insurance changes or additions needed should be made now, well in advance of the approaching hurricane season to help provide the financial resources necessary if a hurricane strikes.
Aegis Can Help
Aegis Insurance & Financial Services can help by providing reliable, comprehensive Personal Insurance coverage, including Homeowners Insurance, Renter's Insurance, Auto Insurance, Life Insurance, and Flood Insurance. Contact our insurance specialists today to review your existing policies and discuss any gaps in coverage.
Call Aegis today to learn more about our full range of Personal Insurance policies, or fill out our online form to request a free quote!