Are You Prepared for a Hurricane?
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Are You Prepared for a Hurricane?

Hurricanes can be deadly. To be better prepare, follow these tips on preparing for hurricane.

Hurricanes can be quite beautiful – the trees swaying, the water swelling. They can also be deadly. According to the Insurance Information Institute, 11 people died in 2010 due to hurricanes. In 2005, over 1500 people died. Hurricanes can be expensive too. Katrina, in 2005, cost $125,000* when all said and done.

With Hurricane Irene screaming up the East Coast, many people are getting prepared for her. For those near the coast in her direct path, this may mean boarding up. For those further inland it may mean being prepared to deal with more rainfall and wind than usual. No matter what your specific situation, there are some standard preparations to be considered.

Make a Family Plan

Making a family plan for a hurricane is a little more intense than simply setting a meeting place for the family in the event of a fire. Identify one person everyone should contact in an emergency. Select someone who is out of town. Make sure everyone has a cell phone or calling card. Teach everyone how to text. Often phone lines may be down but texts will still go through. Decide where to meet up together or where you will go, depending on the emergency. Be sure to include the family pets in your plans.

Protect Your Property

Be sure your property is adequately insured. Prepare a home inventory and include photos. Ask about flood insurance. Most homeowners’ insurance policies, according to State Farm Insurance, do not cover flood damage. Turn off your appliances. Turn off the gas main.

As both preparation and general maintenance, caulk leaks and secure shingles which may allow rain to leak inside. Doors that open out are better to resist wind than doors opening into your home or garage.

Consider a Generator

Generators will maintain power if you should experience an outage. This is especially necessary for those with medical needs, such as being on oxygen or needing dialysis. The size of the generator you want should be determined by how much power you anticipate needing. Smaller generators are designed to simply sustain the bare minimum. Whereas, a whole house generator supports the entire house.

Prepare an Emergency Kit

Your Emergency Kit should be basic and yet thorough. Remember depending on the circumstance of the disaster, you may be carrying this on your back instead of in your trunk. Include a basic first aid kit, water, non-perishable food, can opener, battery operated radio, flashlight and batteries, and a calling card or cell phone. You may also want to include a list of emergency contacts and their numbers. Include medicines. If you have young children, pack extra diapers and formula or other liquids. If you have a pet, include extra food and water for them too. FEMA – the Federal Emergency Management Agency – also suggests you include a whistle in your kit. Extra clothes and blankets should also be included.

During the Hurricane

Bring in or otherwise secure outdoor objects, like the kids’ toys or the grill. Stay away from the windows and glass doors to avoid any flying debris. If you have shutters on your windows, close them. Stay tuned to your local news or weather station.

After the Hurricane

Assess your situation. Your insurance agent may be inundated with calls so be prepared to document all damages.

* Figure is in millions

 

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