22 Jul Preparing for Hurricane Season
It can be very nerve-wracking to hear a hurricane warning go off on your phone or TV. Images of heavy rains, wild winds, and damage to your home and belongings flood your mind. But there’s no need to worry! You can tackle those fears with a solid hurricane preparedness plan. With these tips, you can ensure the safety of yourself, your family, and your home.
Hurricane season lasts from June through November, peaking from mid-August to late October. As storms develop, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Federal Emergency Management Agency, and state and local authorities will provide updates, keeping you aware of a storm’s path and issuing evacuation orders when necessary. Keep an eye on any information from those organizations and make decisions accordingly.
During Hurricane Season
Hurricane season is upon us, and there are a few things you can do to make sure you’re ready in the event of a hurricane.
- Create a family communication plan and evacuation routes. Designate a contact person who family members know to call once the storm is over.
- Stock up on the essentials: bottled water, flashlights, a battery-operated radio, and a pack of batteries.
- Keep your devices charged.
- Stock up on nails, tarps, and plywood, too, as these will protect the exterior of your home.
- Review your home insurance policy. A standard Connecticut home insurance policy will not cover flooding and some other natural disasters, so be sure to have an additional policy that covers those. Contact SAVA to review your homeowner’s insurance options.
When There’s a Hurricane Threat
- Be sure to protect the exterior of your home from wind and water damage. Cover windows and doors with storm shutters or 5/8-inch plywood and move all outdoor items inside.
- Store important documents (e.g., birth certificates, Social Security cards, etc.) in watertight containers.
- Refill your prescriptions, fill up your gas tank, and withdraw a week’s worth of cash so you are prepared in the event of a power outage.
- Make sure your generator, if you have one, is serviceable before the storm.
- If you are told to evacuate, do so immediately.
When a Hurricane Strikes
- Make sure your home is completely secure and do not go outside during the storm.
- Turn off all gas lines and consider turning off all utilities.
- Shelter away from doors and windows.
- If the electricity goes out, use a flashlight to see.
- If you hear the wind subside, do not assume that the storm is over. The calm may be the eye of the storm, and the worst part may still be coming.
- Listen to your battery-operated radio for instructions from the local authorities on evacuation and safety guidelines.
After the Hurricane
- Stay inside until an “all clear” notice has been issued.
- If you were told to evacuate, do not return home until you’ve been given permission by the authorities.
- Be careful exiting your home or inspecting it for damage.
- Be cautious of residual rain and flooding, even if the main storm has passed.
- Keep pets and children inside. It is not safe for them to wander.
- If you are separated from your family, use your family communication plan, or contact the American Red Cross at 1-800-733-2767.
- Document damage to the outside of your home. Call your home insurer to file a claim as soon as you can.
- Do not inspect damaged utilities.
- Do not turn on any utilities until you confirm there is no damage to the lines.
It is easy to feel fearful when the storm season rolls around. Thankfully, you are not helpless in this matter! There is plenty you can do to ensure the safety of you, your family, and your home, and SAVA is here to help. Be sure to reach out to our office to learn more about our natural disaster coverage and other ways to protect your home in times of need.