Although hurricane season is June 1 – November 30, it’s never too early to start preparing for storms in your area. With the help of these tips from the National Weather Service, you can brace your home and family for the worst of storms.
Hurricane Preparedness Checklist
Determine Your Risk
Serious, life-threatening impacts can happen in more locations than just the coasts. You must create a plan to protect your home and family now, before the first storm of the season even forms. The first step in preparing for a hurricane is to determine if you live in an area that is vulnerable to hurricane damage, such as storm surges, rip currents, flooding, tornadoes, and strong winds. To determine your level of risk, check with your local officials and reach out to your local emergency management agency.
Develop an Evacuation Plan
Take some time to create your hurricane evacuation plan. First, find out if you live in a home that is unsafe during a hurricane or is located in a hurricane evacuation zone. Determine where you’d go and how you’d get there if you were required to evacuate. Evacuation does not mean you must travel across the country. Identify a friend or family member who doesn’t live in an evacuation zone and develop a plan to seek shelter at their home. Don’t forget to find accommodations for your pets as well, as most local shelters do not permit them.
Assemble Disaster Supplies
When prepping for a hurricane, make sure you have enough supplies to get you through the storm itself, as well as the recovery period that follows it. Be prepared for your home to lose access to water and electricity for at least a week. Make sure you have enough non-perishable food, water, and medicine to last each person in your family for a minimum of seven days. Other items that should be in your disaster supply kit include extra cash, a battery-powered radio, flashlights, and a portable crank or solar-powered USB charger to charge your cell phone.
Get An Insurance Checkup
Be sure to check in with your local insurance agent well before hurricane season begins. Ask your agent for an insurance checkup to make sure you have enough homeowners insurance to repair or even replace your home. Remember, whether you’re a homeowner or renter, you’ll need a separate policy for flooding. If you’d like to protect your home from flood damage, contact a local Rockingham Insurance agent today.
Strengthen Your Home
There’s a lot you can do around your home to help protect it from the strong winds that can come with hurricanes. Well ahead of the approaching storm, trim the trees and secure all doors on your property, collect loose outdoor items, shop for approved window coverings, and find a safe location for your vehicle. Make sure you have the proper aluminum, plywood, or steel panels to board up your doors and windows. Be sure to evaluate your garage door to determine if it can withstand the hurricane’s high winds. Consider investing in panel hinges or other garage door reinforcements to protect this vulnerable part of your home.
Help Your Neighbor
In times of extreme weather, many people, especially senior citizens, rely on their neighbors for assistance. Help your neighbors collect the supplies they’ll need before the storm. If your local government orders your neighborhood to evacuate, assist those in need with the evacuation process and check on them once it’s safe to return to your home.
Complete a Written Plan
It’s never too early to start planning for hurricane season. Writing down your hurricane plan will ensure everyone is prepared and informed before the storm arrives and will help you avoid mistakes in times of an emergency.
Being prepared now can mean the difference between your being a hurricane victim and a hurricane survivor. Rockingham Insurance is here to protect you and your home during severe storms. To learn more about how to protect your property, contact a local Rockingham Insurance agent today.