History teaches that a lack of hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster. Hurricane Preparedness Week during 2011 runs from May 22nd through May 28th.
Hurricane season begins June 1st and lasts through November 30th. Hurricanes are dangerous and can result in devastating losses. The following are some helpful tips to help you through this year’s hurricane season.
If you live near the coast, know your evacuation zone and evacuation route.
If you plan to stay in a shelter, make provisions for your pets because many shelters cannot accommodate pets. Hurricane shutters that have been tested and certified offer the best protection for your home and property. While
Not as effective, affixing plywood over all of your home’s openings will provide some level of increased protection. Secure the plywood with nails or screws placed at least every 18 inches along the edges of the sheets of plywood.
Trim tree branches that appear to be weak or dead, particularly if they extend over the house. Your safety is important, it may be best to hire a professional tree trimmer or arborist.
Have a written, video or photographic inventory of your possessions stored in a safe place away from your home. If your home is damaged an inventory will be invaluable in settling the claim.
Flooding, including tidal or storm surge caused by a hurricane is not covered by your Homeowners or Wind- Only Policy. Flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program and is sold by your agent. You can assess your exposure to a flood loss at the FEMA web site: www.floodsmart.gov.
HURRICANE DISASTER SUPPLY KIT- Items to Protect your Family
•Canned goods and nonperishable foods that do not need cooking:
◦Canned meats and fish
◦Canned fruits and vegetables
◦Canned soups and puddings
◦Canned fruit juices
◦Dried fruit and nuts
◦Bread, cookies and crackers
◦Peanut butter and jelly
◦Coffee and tea
•Manual can opener
•Bottled water (1 gallon per person/per day)
•Prescription medication (2 week supply)
•Water purification tablets (halazone)
•Disposable plates, cups, and utensils
•Infant care items:
•First aid supplies
•Masking and duct tape
•Flashlight or lantern, with extra batteries
•Battery operated radio, with extra batteries
•Watch or battery operated clock
•Canned heat (sterno)
•Portable outdoor camping stove or grill with fuel supply
•A certain amount of cash
•Important documents (Such as wills, deeds, prescriptions, passports, birth certificates, health record, proof of address, Social Security number)
•Plastic trash bags
•Plastic sheeting or tarp
•Personal hygiene items
•Other useful items:
◦Ax or chainsaw
◦Nails and screws
◦Rope and wire
◦Broom, mop and bucket
◦Shovel, rake and wheelbarrow
◦Sheets of plywood
FAMILY EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS PLAN
Develop a Family Emergency Communications Plan in case family members are separated from one another during an emergency (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school, camp or at a friend’s house). This plan should also address reunification after the immediate crisis passes.
•Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the Family Emergency Communications Plan contact person. During and immediately after a disaster occurs, it is often easier to access a long distance telephone number than a local one. Also, calling outside a disaster area is usually easier than calling into the same area.
•Make sure everyone knows the name, address and telephone number of the Family Emergency Communications Plan contact person.
•Designate two meeting areas for family members – one within your community (your primary location), and one outside of your community (your alternate location). Sometimes an emergency could impact your neighborhood or small section of the community, so a second location outside of your community would be more accessible to all family members.
A Family Emergency Communications Plan can help reassure everyone’s safety and minimize the stress associated with emergencies
Educate yourself and family about emergency plans for your community, place of business, your child’s school and camp. Know what potential risks your community and neighborhoods are susceptible to in a hurricane, such as storm surge, flooding, etc. Carefully monitor the Media and follow instructions from Public Safety officials as hurricane approaches.
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/disaster_prevention.shtml– National Hurricane Center
http://www.ihrc.fiu.edu/index.htm – FIU’s Hurricane Research Center
http://www.chiff.com/a/hurricane-tips.htm – Great Hurricane Tips
To learn more about Hurricane Preparedness Week in Florida, please contact us at DMG Insurance and Financial Services, Inc. (http://www.dmginsurance.com) at 543 N state Road 7, STE 106, Royal Palm Beach EL, 33411, phone 561 422 7071, Fax 561 422 7072.