The best time to prepare for a hurricane, whether it’s a Category 5 or just Category 1, is before the threat becomes imminent. These destructive events pose a considerable risk to you, your loved ones, and your property. Taking sensible measures to prepare will give you the peace of mind that you’ve done everything possible to minimize the impact of the storm. Follow these five smart tips to navigate the hurricane season.
1. Create Your Evacuation Plan
If you’re in an area where the storm surge is a danger, you will likely have to evacuate. Become familiar with your risks, especially if your home is at a lower elevation or you have a mobile home. Find out what evacuation zone is designated for your area and identify which shelters are available. Contact your local disaster management office if you’re not sure.
Have a conversation with your family about what you will do in this emergency and what resources you will need to stay safe. If you have pets, include them in your planning.
There’s a specific window of time when it will be safe to evacuate, and you must follow the guidance of local officials. You should not try to leave once the storm has already begun unless emergency responders are instructing you to do so.
2. Prepare a Kit of Emergency Supplies
You certainly don’t need to end up being part of the rush on stores that accompanies every hurricane warning. Make a list of all the essential, non-perishable supplies you would need in a disaster and gather them together in a water-proof, secure emergency kit. Items to include:
- A first aid kit with aspirin, bandages, antibiotic ointment and gauze
- A portable radio
- Candles and matches, a flashlight and batteries
- A three day supply of water for each person in your family
- A three day supply of the prescription medications of any member of your family
- Personal hygiene items
- Food supplies that are canned or otherwise prepackaged
- A change of clothes for each member of the family
- A basic tool kit
- All important family documents
- If you have young children, items that would comfort them, such as books or games
3. Document an inventory of your property
Making a thorough inventory of your property, including expensive possessions, will be essential if you have to undergo a claims process later. This inventory should include time-stamped photos or videos of different items or even entire sections of your home. Having this record will make your claims process much faster and can also help you in applying for disaster aid or substantiating losses on your income tax. If you end up having to evacuate, make sure this inventory is safe, either with waterproofing or as a digital file that you have stored online.
4. Review your Insurance Coverage
Take a careful look at your current policy to ensure that it fits your needs in the event of severe storm damage. Will the current policy be adequate for helping you replace valuable belongings or repair your home? You should consider that many policies will not specifically cover flood damage, wind damage, or other potential hazards of a hurricane. Make sure you also fully understand any coverage limitations and evaluate whether you need to make any changes.
Sandifer Insurance is a family-owned, second-generation insurance agency that provides full-service protection to our clients. We have a range of coverage options that include your home, car, business, life, and farm. Our relationship with clients is personal and built on trust. We have a mission to provide clients with the best coverage for their specific needs and to help them understand the details of their policies.
Sandifer Insurance has operated in Cheraw, SC for almost 40 years, servicing both North and South Carolina. Our insurance professionals can provide thoughtful guidance for a policy that meets your coverage needs in the event of hurricane damage.
5. Prepare Your Home for Storm Conditions
Once the hurricane watch is issued, it’s time to tackle one of the most crucial tasks in hurricane preparation, which is securing your home as thoroughly as possible.
- Cover every vulnerable opening, such as doors or windows, with either storm shutters or plywood boards
- Hire a tree service to trim back any trees or shrubbery that are close enough to damage your home
- Bring in any outdoor objects, such as lawn furniture
- Prevent water damage by using caulk to seal any outside vents or other openings
While hurricane season can be a time of anxiety, it’s important to feel empowered and take practical steps to minimize the impact of these disasters. With planning and organization, your family and your property will both be prepared to meet the challenges of extreme weather.