This year 2014, National Hurricane Preparedness Week was May 25 through May 31. It highlights the importance of planning ahead to protect families, homes and communities in advance of the upcoming hurricane season. Hurricane Preparedness Week is a national effort to inform the public about the hurricane hazards and provide knowledge which can be used to prepare and take action.
Here we can mention the name of Florida as the most hurricane-prone state. More storms hit Florida than any other U.S. state. The eastern coast of this state is impacted most by hurricanes because the most storms form either off the coast of Africa or somewhere in the Caribbean. Some storms come ashore on the east coast and cross the state, some come ashore and turn up through the middle of the state and some come ashore and cross over to the Gulf of Mexico. Nearly one-third of the cyclones affect the state in September, and nearly three-fourth of the storms affect the state between August and October.
The people of hurricane prone areas always must be alert, must be informed and must have hurricane preparedness to take proper action. They should know what the National Weather Service means when it issues watches and warnings. A watch lets you know that weather conditions are favorable for a hazard to occur. It literally means “be on guard!” A warning requires immediate action. This means a weather hazard is imminent – it is either occurring or it is about to occur at any moment.
Hurricanes and tropical storms can also produce tornadoes. These tornadoes most often occur in thunderstorms embedded in rain bands well away from the center of the hurricane.Tropical cyclones often produce widespread, torrential rains in excess of 6 inches, which may result in deadly and destructive floods. In fact, flooding is the major threat from tropical cyclones for people living inland.
A storm wind can generate Storm Surge, which is an abnormal rise of water, can reach heights well over 20 feet and can span hundreds of miles of coastline. Storm Tide is the water level rise during a storm due to the combination of storm surge and the astronomical tide.
Hurricane season officially begins June 1 and extends through Nov. 30. In this season you have to get prepared before you are informed that a hurricane is on the way. A little effort now—before catastrophe strikes—can yield big savings in the future.
The following hurricane preparedness tips can help you plan ahead so you never have to face a storm unprepared.
1. First priority is to survive. So stock the emergency supply kit with basic survival items. It is recommended that you have at least a 1-week supply of water and ready-to-eat, non-perishable food for every family member and pet. If you evacuate, you’ll want a 3-day supply of the same. Other essential items to add to your supply kit are :
(i) Manual can opener
(ii) Essential medicines including eyeglasses and contact lenses
(iii) Personal hygiene items such as toilet paper, toothbrush and toothpaste
(iv) Change of clothing
(v) Paper towels, hand sanitizer, and eating utensils
(vi) First-aid kit
(vii) Battery-powered flashlight and radio with extra batteries
(viii) Blankets, pillows and sleeping bags
(ix) Mosquito repellant and citronella candles
(x) 2 coolers—one for food, one for ice
(xi) Plastic tarp for roof/window repairs and tools
(xii) Special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members
Also consider having portable or permanent backup generator with a sufficient supply of fuel for at least 1 week in the event of a sustained power outage.
2. To protect your property and have hurricane preparedness, install the following items in your home:
(i) Hurricane shuttersor keep ¾ inch outdoor plywood boards for each window. If using boards, be sure to install anchors and pre-drill holes so you can put them up quickly.
(ii) Head and foot bolts on doors for extra protection.
(iii) Hurricane straps or clips to help hold the roof to the walls of your home.
(iv) A safe room that can withstand high winds and flying debris.
(v) Be sure to keep up with your landscaping; diseased and damaged tree limbs should be cut and clear. These can become serious hazards in high-speed storm winds.
3. Check your insurance coverage to make sure it reflects the current state of your home. Consider adding flood insurance (effective date is 30 days after purchase) and coverage for additional living expenses in case your home is uninhabitable after a storm. Know what your hurricane deductible is. Note that changes to hurricane deductibles can only be made during the policy anniversary date and that other changes to the policy cannot be made once a storm is potentially affecting your State. To know more about insurance you can contact with dmginsurance.com .
4. Doing a home inventory can save you time and make filing a claim easier, ensuring you don’t forget anything. Document the contents of your home with a video camera or other home inventory tool. There are many cell phone apps that are now available to assist you. Keep receipts for valuable items and consider separate coverage for these things.
5. Have an established evacuation plan to help reduce stress. If you don’t have transportation of your own, make arrangements now with friends or family members and don’t forget about the pets!
6. You want to make sure the whole family is covered, so identify an out-of-state contact that everyone will call if separated and establish a meeting location at least 50 miles inland.
7. Lastly, gather important papers to take with you:
(i) Driver’s license or personal ID
(ii) Social security card
(iii) Proof of residence (deed, lease or utility bills)
(iv) Insurance policies (home, auto, flood, wind)
(v) Birth and marriage certificates
(vi) Stocks, bond and other negotiable certificates
(vii) Wills, deeds, and copies of recent tax returns
(viii) Personal checkbook and any unpaid bills
8. Don’t take silly risks like running back into a home that’s been destroyed or refuse to evacuate when you’ve been ordered to, just to salvage material possessions. Things can be replaced, but people cannot.
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.