The time to get ready for a hurricane isn’t when you’re in the cone of uncertainty and you’re not sure where the storm will land. You need to get ready long before hurricane season begins. That’s June 1, if you didn’t know.
That’s why Hurricane Preparedness Week is so important. The more you can do now, the better off you’ll be if and when a storm makes landfall.
Here’s what you need to do.
Put Together a Disaster Kit
Get a plastic or metal box - anything that will be fairly water tight. This isn’t the time for a cardboard box. Add flashlights, batteries, a first aid kit, copies (not originals) of your important documents, and a battery or solar-powered radio. If the power goes out, your house gets flooded, or you need to evacuate quick, you’ll be glad you have your disaster kit.
Make a Hurricane Kit
What’s a hurricane kit and why is it different than the disaster kit? This is what you’ll use after the storm if you’re stuck with no power and/or water. You need enough water for everyone in your family to drink for three days. One person needs about a gallon a day. Make sure you have batteries in this kit, too, as well as flashlights. Nonperishable foods, canned foods and a manual can opener should be added. You can get bread a few days before the storm but don’t wait too long or the shelves will be empty.
Get Your Home Ready
You’ll want to do this periodically until hurricane season ends, but check your yard for dead or damaged trees and limbs that need to come down. You don’t want those to become a danger to your roof or your windows in a big storm. Consider getting storm shutters or even a generator for your home in case of major damage. At the very least, get plywood measured and cut to your windows to board them up. Like with the bread, waiting until the last minute can be a real pain.
Make a Plan
If Charlotte gets caught in a hurricane and Jim Cantore shows up in town, you know it’s about to be serious. You need a plan now to stay safe. Figure out where you can go if you need to evacuate. Find out where the local shelters will be (usually the local schools). Make a plan for what to do with your family pets. You may want to go to a pet-friendly hotel and some shelters do allow pets. Know your evacuation route to eliminate confusion later. As a storm is barreling down on you don’t want to be worried about figuring all of this out.
Check Your Insurance
Standard homeowner’s insurance typically does not include hurricane coverage. You need to know that now. If you don’t have any hurricane insurance, talk to your agent about adding it to your policy. Don’t forget flood insurance. After big storms, the argument is usually whether the damage is from wind or water. With a flood insurance policy, you won’t have to worry because you’ll be covered. Get coverage now because there’s a 30 day waiting period before it will take effect.
Hurricanes can devastate towns, homes, and families. With a bit of precaution and plenty of planning, you can keep your family safe and protect your home as much as possible. Spend the time now to avoid stress and confusion later.
If you need to check your homeowner’s coverage or sign up for flood insurance, Charlotte Insurance is here to help. Contact us today!