The Atlantic Ocean experienced several hurricanes of the 2022 season after months of mostly calm. Before making landfall as a catastrophic Category 4 Hurricane on the west coast of Florida, Ian as it traveled through the gulf waters, produced Tornados in the outer bands which affected some our local towns on the east coast of Florida. While it was not expected to make landfall on the east coast, Ian still left a trail of damage in its wake.
Sadly, Ian’s force left such destruction, flooding and unfortunately loss of life. Our family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors on the west coast are trying to put their lives back together as they navigate these difficult times. It will take quite some time to restore and rebuild and we are sending our thoughts and prayers to all.
As we are assisting clients with tornado damage, it is a very important reminder to always be prepared. We were not expecting to have anything but some mild rain and wind on the east coast. Before we knew it, our phones were blaring with tornado warnings to seek shelter in an interior room as the tornado was moving quickly and affecting our towns.
Experts always caution that the weather can shift quickly and that deadly storms could still develop in the coming weeks. This makes being prepared the name of the game.
Here are a few things to review to keep your home and property safe, as we are not in the clear yet!
#1 Take an inventory of your personal property
Making a list of your personal property might seem like an extra step, but it will help you make sure that you have obtained enough insurance to replace your personal belongings in the event of a catastrophic storm.
If you need to ask for disaster aid, it can also expedite the claims process. Keep your critical documents with your home inventory and be sure to take them with you if you need to leave your property.
#2 Prepare and Protect Your Property
In order to be prepared for the remaining weeks of hurricane season, be sure that you have safeguarded your property with a few simple steps.
Make sure that your gutters, downspouts, and drains are clear to ensure that water will divert away from your property to help avoid water damage.
For the best defense, install permanent storm shutters to lessen the likelihood of shattered windows. If you don’t yet have shutters (or impact windows), consider using plywood to cover your windows in case that storm hits.
Check on your property’s larger trees and prune any hanging branches. Put away outdoor items such as patio furniture, trash cans, potted plants, and bicycles to avoid property damage that high winds can cause if such items aren’t secure.
#3 Prepare an Emergency Stash of Supplies
Prepare an emergency stash of supplies well in advance in case a hurricane does come to your area. Bottled water, first aid kits, and other necessities are frequently unavailable in stores once the forecast has been released due to such high demand. Don’t wait for that moment. It is a good idea to have these supplies in advance, and a good rule of thumb is to plan for at least five days of critical supplies.
One of the most important elements of hurricane preparation is planning your evacuation process. If you think evacuations are only for those who live on or near the coast, keep in mind that hurricanes can cause severe damage no matter where in the state you are.
Begin planning your evacuation route by searching for information on your local county/city website. Make note of the locations of nearby shelters, pet boarding facilities, and gas stations.
Review your plans with your family and consider a practice run-through to make everyone familiar with their role in case you do need to evacuate.
Our Hurricane Supply Checklist is available for you to download today so you are always prepared.
Hope for the Best, But Plan for the Worst During Hurricane Season
It may be tempting to relax and let your guard down, but hurricane season is not over just yet. In the event there is a hurricane, be better prepared with the suggestions I covered here.
Also make a note that your property insurance may cover typical repairs and extra living expenses should you need temporary shelter. However, your homeowner’s insurance will not cover flood-related destruction. Make sure you have flood insurance whether you are in a flood zone or not.
If you need further information or would like an evaluation of your preparedness, at Reliant Insurance Adjusters, we have the resources needed to properly conduct pre-loss inspections and can guide you towards the best options for your needs. Contact us today for more information.