A busy hurricane season has already been predicted for 2020 with up to 19 named storms possible, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The season began June 1 and runs through November 30. Here’s what you need to know to get prepared now, before a storm arrives.
Put Together a Disaster Supply Kit
Because you never know exactly when a big storm will head our way and because the season is several months long, it never hurts to put together a disaster supply kit as early as possible. Best case scenario: you don’t need it. Worst case scenario: It gets you through the aftermath of a tragic storm until help arrives.
Your kit should include the following:
- Canned and boxed foods — non-perishable items, enough to feed each person in your family for three days
- Water: one gallon of water per person per day, enough to last three days
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio
- Solar cell phone charger
- First aid kit
- Whistle to call for help
- Dust masks for each person in family
- Moist towelettes
- Wrench to turn off utilities
- Can opener to open cans
- Important family and home documents
- Bleach and a medical dropper. A few drops in a gallon of water can make it clean for drinking.
- Fire extinguisher
- Clothing and blankets
- Prescriptions and glasses
- Formula and diapers
- Pet food and medications
- Personal hygiene products
- Cash — ATMs, credit card machines, etc. may not work in the aftermath of a hurricane due to power outages
Make a Plan Now
The time to plan for what to do in the event of a hurricane should happen long before we’re in the path of a storm. There are plenty of things to do now to protect both your family and your home.
- Trim tree limbs to reduce breakage and move them away from your home.
- Clean your gutters and drainage so water can flow more easily during a storm.
- Identify a safe room in your home to go to during a storm. This should be an interior room on the lowest level like a closet, bathroom, or hallway.
- Figure out where you’ll shelter if necessary. If you have a pet, make sure you know which shelters accept pets. Even if you plan to shelter in place, know the location of the closest shelters in case you need to stay there after a storm.
- Purchase the items for your disaster supply kit.
- Develop a Family Emergency Communication Plan
Once a storm is named and it looks like you’ll be in the path, there are more immediate plans that should be made:
- Move all outdoor items inside: garbage cans, furniture, potted plants, decorations, tools
- Cover your windows. Storm shutters or plywood are your best options. Taping your windows won’t prevent them from breaking.
- Charge your cell phone and keep it charged in case the power goes out.
- Gas up your vehicles.
- Turn off your propane tank.
- Moor your boat.
- Track the storm by radio, TV, or through the NOAA website.
Check Your Home Insurance
Now that hurricane season is here, it’s a good time to check your home insurance coverage, too. Once a storm is “in the box,” you cannot purchase a new policy or make any major changes to your existing coverage. If it’s been a long time since you updated your coverage limits, do it now before the next storm heads our way.
Contact Charlotte Insurance today to ask questions about your current coverage or to get an estimate for a new homeowners policy. If a hurricane comes this way, you need to make sure you have enough coverage to repair any damage or rebuild if necessary. Contact us today — we’re here to help!