Hurricane Florence may have been the last major hurricane to hit North Carolina back in 2018 but even when we’re not in the direct path, we’re still impacted by storms every hurricane season.
It’s important to prepare so that you can keep yourself and your family safe. Here’s what you need to do.
Build Your Emergency Kit
Emergency kits aren’t just useful for hurricane season. They’re important to have year-round for all kinds of natural disasters. Many items you can pack away ahead of time, while others you’ll need to add during storm preparations.
Here’s what should be in your emergency kit:
- Enough water for everyone in your household: one gallon per day per person for three to seven days
- Enough non-perishable food for everyone in your household to last for three to seven days; Boxed foods and canned items are ideal. Make sure you include a manual can opener in your kit.
- An NOAA weather radio or a hand-crank/battery-powered radio
- Plenty of batteries in a variety of sizes based on the items in your emergency kit
- Chargers for every cell phone in your household
- First aid kit
- Flashlights and working batteries
- Tools to turn off water in your home – wrench or pliers
- A blanket or sleeping bag for each person in your household; everyone should bring a pillow, too
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications needed by people in your household
- Contact lenses and/or glasses
- Change of clothing that’s weather appropriate (shorts in summer, long pants in winter) and at least one pair of sturdy shoes for each person in your household
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, deodorant, etc.
- Extra keys to your home and car(s)
- Important documents and information – driver’s licenses, social security cards, bank account info; Make digital copies and store them where you can have access as long as you have electricity (but not internet) – a hard drive, on your phone, etc.
- Also include insurance information – policy number, insurance company name, and contact info – in with your important documents
- Any items you need for babies in your family
- Any items you need for pets in your family
Create an Evacuation Plan
Many people want to shelter in place during a hurricane, but that’s not always the safest option. Before a storm heads to North Carolina, figure out what you’ll do and where you’ll go if you need to evacuate.
If you have family or friends you can stay with – in or out of North Carolina – work that out with them before there’s a named storm. Watch the news or listen to the radio to know where local shelters are located, in case you need to leave and it’s too late to get out of town.
Be aware that not all local shelters or hotels accept pets. It’s important to make an evacuation plan with this in mind. If you can’t imagine leaving your pets, figure out where you can go during your hurricane preparations, not as the storm is barreling down.
Whether you plan to stay at home or leave town, gas up early. If you have gas cans, fill them as well. Gas shortages just before and after a storm are common.
Make Sure You Have the Right Insurance
Insurance can’t prevent hurricane damage but it does help you rebuild after the storm.
Damage from a hurricane can occur in two major ways: wind and water. Most home insurance policies cover wind damage caused by storms, including hurricanes. But damage from water won’t be covered.
Well before a storm makes a path for North Carolina, it’s important to have enough and the right kind of insurance to weather any storm. Annual checks of your home insurance are a good idea to make sure you have enough coverage to fully replace your home if it’s destroyed in a covered peril.
The next form of insurance coverage you need in advance of a hurricane is flood insurance. When a storm hits, the question that often has to be answered is, “Was the damage caused by wind or water?” If the answer is water, your damage may not be covered unless you have flood insurance.
Flood insurance protects you during hurricane season and all year long because where there’s water, there’s always a chance of flooding. If you’re in a low risk flood zone your policy will cost less than you may imagine.
There’s a 30 day waiting period before a flood insurance policy goes into effect. Purchase a policy as soon as possible to give yourself the best chance of recovery after a hurricane. Contact Charlotte Insurance today to learn more and get a free quote.