Are You Hurricane-Prepared?
Although hurricanes and tropical storms are usually associated with the southeastern coastal United States, in 2011 Tropical Storm Irene caused a great amount of damage in Vermont, Massachusetts, and New York. As we enter hurricane season, here are tips from Trusted Choice® to help you prepare your home and family for the worst:
- Make trees more wind resistant by removing diseased or damaged limbs, then strategically removing branches so the wind can blow through.
- Be prepared to evacuate. When a hurricane is approaching, a hurricane watch or warning will be announced throughout your local news media. High winds and flooding are common, even if the hurricane doesn’t make landfall; if you love on the coastline, on an offshore island, in a mobile home, or near a river or floodplain, be ready to evacuate if necessary and take your disaster supplies kit, sleeping bags, and blankets.
- Lock the windows and doors of your home before leaving, and turn off all utilities.
- Follow recommended evacuation routes.
- Store away lightweight objects that could be blown away.
- Anchor outdoor objects that cannot be brought inside.
- Call your emergency contact person to report your plans.
- Fill your car with gas.
- If you are not told to evacuate, settle in and stay put. Keep the roads free for those who need to use them. Remember: the first part of the storm is followed by a period of tranquility (the eye of the storm). The rest of the storm will come.
- Collect your disaster supplies kit, blankets, and sleeping bags and keep them near you.
- Keep children and pets inside.
- Make sure a battery-powered radio is nearby.
- If you are along the immediate coast and in danger of a storm surge, go to a room on an upper level floor, preferably one without windows. Stay there until the storm passes.
- If you’re in a location that is not susceptible to a storm surge, go to an interior room on the lowest floor to protect yourself from wind-related damage.
- If you have evacuated, wait until authorities tell you it’s safe before returning home.
- Be alert for tornadoes.
- Stay away from flood waters.
- Use a flashlight. Do not light matches or turn on electrical switches.
- Keep your nose alert for gas leaks. If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off the main gas valve, open windows, and evacuate. If you have any concerns, have the gas system checked by a professional.
- Do not touch wires or outlets.
- Check for frayed cords and for cracked or broken prongs and plugs.
- Turn off the main electrical circuit switch. Be careful to stand on a dry surface and do
not touch the metal handle of the switch box. Use a piece of heavy rubber, plastic or a
piece of dry wood to open the metal door and throw the switch. Share your concerns with a licensed electrician.
- Watch for holes in the floor, loose boards or hanging plaster.
- If your home has been flooded, check for snakes and other animals that may have
entered the property.
- Before you start cleaning up debris, prepare an inventory of all damaged or destroyed
personal property. If you can, videotape or photograph the damage.
- Make temporary repairs to prevent further damage.
- Clean up any flammable or poisonous materials that may have been spilled.
- Dispose of all spoiled food immediately. If you have insurance coverage for spoiled
food, document your losses.
- Hold off on permanent repairs until you've received approval for reimbursement.
- Save remnants of damaged or destroyed property for your insurance company adjuster, and do not sign agreements with contractors or anyone else until you have a chance to meet with your insurance adjuster.
- Keep a written record of everyone you talk to about your insurance claim, including the date of the conversation and a summary of what was said.
- Keep all receipts.
- Your pre-disaster home inventory will be of great assistance to you at this point. After you've examined everything and determined the extent of damage, call your independent insurance agent as soon as possible to file a claim.
About J Edward Knight
J Edward Knight is a local insurance agency with offices in five Midcoast locations: Boothbay Harbor, New Harbor, Vinalhaven, Rockland and Bath. Give us a call (800-898-4423) or drop us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss your coverage. We're here to help, focused on you and can help you find the best insurance to meet your needs. Independent. Local. Focused on You.
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