Our area is no stranger to flooding and storm damage and now that the 2018 hurricane season has begun, it’s important that you take charge of ensuring that you, your family and property are prepared. The northeast is considered a sea-level “hotspot” with an anticipated sea rise of up to 7.5 feet by 2100! So this means, the flooding we’ve seen in the past is not going anywhere and it’s time to take control and be as prepared as possible. So what should you be doing to prepare? Let’s take a look:
- Make a plan. It’s vital that you have a plan for storm emergencies with contingencies for the workweek, nights and weekends/vacations. An emergency plan for when an event occurs and your entire family is home is going to be very different than one that occurs when you are at work and your children are at school. Create contact lists and make sure all members of your household have them; create muster points both at home and away from home; establish an out of area contact person that you can all check in with if you are unable to get to the meeting places. If you have young children create a code phrase in case you need to send someone to pick them up that they may not be familiar with or are not on the “pick up” authorization list.
- Stay up to date on storms. As part of your storm box preparation make sure you have a weather radio and plenty of batteries. If you lose power you will still be able to stay informed as to the conditions and if any evacuations have been ordered.
- Know where and when to GO! IF you are ordered to evacuate, know the safest routes away and where you can go. Touch base with out of town friends and relatives and establish one as a storm bug-out location. If you have pets and plan to use a local storm shelter, find out the rules on animals BEFORE a storm is on the horizon. If they do not accept pets, make sure you look for pet-friend hotel/motels or advise your out of area destination what animals you need to bring. If you are under evacuation orders, secure your home, take all necessary papers, medications, pet foods, etc and LEAVE! You can not combat Mother Nature and if the evacuation is mandatory, officials will not come in to get you until an all clear is given and the danger has passed. Your home and belongings can be replaced, you can not.
- “Bug Out Box” prep. When putting together your storm prep box be sure to have at least three to five days worth of supplies for each member of your family…this includes your pets as well. Make sure to include copies of important documents, including your insurance policies and home inventory lists.
- Check your insurance! Life gets crazy and maybe you forgot to mention to your agent that you partially finished your basement last fall; or that you were gifted a beautiful Persian rug that’s worth more than six months of your salary; perhaps you celebrated your 30th anniversary by giving your wife a gorgeous pair of diamond earrings. Any of these situations probably are not currently covered under your insurance and it’s important to make sure you let your agent know so we can make any necessary changes before a disaster is on the horizon.*