Hurricane Preparedness Week from the National Weather Service took place May 5-11, and is designed to remind everyone to be prepared for a potential land-falling tropical storm or hurricane. Hurricane season officially begins June 1 and ends November 30. Among the nation’s top seasonal hurricane forecasters, Colorado State University predicts this year that 13 named tropical storms will form, five of which will become hurricanes. An average season has 12 tropical storms, six of which are hurricanes. Of the five predicted hurricanes, two are expected to spin into major hurricanes – Category 3, 4 or 5 – with sustained wind speeds of 111 mph or greater.
It’s important for every individual and family (and business) to have a preparedness plan, complete with a list of contacts during an emergency situation. It is also important to be familiar with the types of hazards that could occur within the community, such as power outages, flooding, or severe weather; and it is vital to understand how individuals will receive notifications, warnings and other important information should something of this nature occur.
Following are some brief general tips you can share with your insureds to ensure hurricane preparedness.
- Determine your risk: Find out today what types of wind and water hazards could happen where you live, and make sure you are prepared to handle them. Hurricanes are not just a coastal problem but can be felt hundreds of miles inland. Additionally, significant impact can be felt without it becoming a major hurricane.
- Develop an evacuation plan: Identify places to go in an emergency, such as a friend’s house in another area, a local hotel, or a public shelter. Be sure to account for your pets as most local shelters do not permit them. Identify the hurricane evacuation routes for your area to determine how you would get there if you need to leave. Call your emergency contact person and tell them where you’re going; leave a note behind that says when you left and where you’re headed.
- Assemble disaster supplies. Have enough non-perishable food, water and medicine for everyone for a minimum of three days. Be sure to have extra cash, a battery-powered radio and flashlights. Gas up your vehicle. Most of us have cell phones, and they all run on batteries, so be sure to have a portable crank or solar-powered USB charger.
- Make plans to strengthen your home. Cover windows, trim trees, secure loose outdoor items, clear loose or clogged rain gutters, reinforce garage doors, and install a generator for emergencies.
- Get an insurance review. Be sure to have the proper insurance in place to repair or even replace a home, including Flood insurance. Also, review the coverage on a car or boat.
You will also find a detailed Hurricane Preparedness Guide we have put together to share with your insureds.
RPS can assist you with securing Homeowners and Flood insurance for your clients. RPS Personal Lines specializes in risks with prior losses or declinations, lower-value homes in good condition, high value homes, no prior insurance, new purchases, homes in distressed markets or in the name of an LLC, as well as CAT-exposed coastal properties. Give us a call.