Dos and Dont’s – Tips to deal with Hurricanes
Hurricanes causes damage to life and property and we have to deal with it when it comes our way. It is always good to be prepared to deal with hurricanes. Here is a list of things you should do now to be prepared:
Be alert and decide to evacuate early if necessary
Predetermined meeting spots with family and friends in case you cannot communicate. Have lists of phone numbers ready. Secure all your yard furniture and other objects so they do not become flying missiles. Cut down small tree limbs. Check for huge branches in surrounding trees that can damage property if broken due to high wind.
Park your vehicles in a secure place if you do not have a garage
Flooding is a big concern also. Secure windows, doors and any other openings. Board up windows if you are directly in the path and will be prone to extreme wind speed that can damage window panes.
Check your vehicle for any minor and major issues. Wipers, spare tyre, jack especially need to be looked at just in case you have to drive during heavy rain.
Fill up the tank. If you are planning to buy extra gasoline be sure to use approved special containers to fill and transport gasoline.
Switch off your vehicle and be sure to keep the container on the ground before filling gas this will help to get rid of static. Make sure nozzle touches container to dissipate static. Do not ever fill gas to the brim. Leave some room for the expanding gas fumes. Never breathe in gas fumes as they are toxic.
Store the gas container outside and where it will not be a fire hazard. Do not store it close to chemicals that burn, any electrical wiring, equipment etc. Do not ever store gasoline in your utility room. It is ok to keep very small quantity in the garage.
If you plan to drive with extra fuel on board, make sure to carry salt and a fire extinguisher along too. Good idea to keep the gas can in a tub of salt. This way it will stay secure also without sliding around. You can buy such containers in Home depot or Lowes. Fill the can manually, and wipe the outside of the can before transporting it.
Stock up on fresh water and food to last a few days. Good idea to stock on food, medicine and necessary supplies in your vehicle as well. Invest in hand-cranked torches, a no battery needed radio, to keep in touch in case of power outages. Extra batteries for cell phones, laptop,charging banks should be high on the list. You can easily buy this in the camping/outdoor section or any outdoor outfitters shop.
Save important numbers like fire, county office, local FEMA office numbers, utilities, search and rescue etc. So you can help others in need as well.
Keep a list of phone numbers in a notebook also. Pop it into the glove compartment for easy access.
Check on elderly neighbors who might need help.
Get copies of your insurance at hand : Health, home renters, auto etc. Evaluate for missing coverage. This is a good time as any.
Flood coverage: Your homeowners /renters insurance policy does not cover floods. You need to purchase a separate flood policy. Maybe you thought you might not need flood insurance but the whole of Florida is declared flood prone. Verify the flood zone you fall under. Flood insurance is not expensive and is administered by a federal program -NFIP(National Flood Insurance Program). Rates will be the same across companies. There is typically a 30 day wait period for most flood insurance to kick in with a few exceptions. Talk to an insurance agent about buying flood policy nevertheless.
Here are a few useful links regarding flood insurance.
Please heed the governor’s advice and be prepared. Stay safe and secure. Feel free to contact us for any insurance-related questions.