We are in the middle of Hurricane season. While it doesn’t happen too often, New York sometimes gets hit with a major storm that causes serious destruction. Because super storms are so rare, we are often caught unprepared for such disasters like Irene or Sandy. So how does one prepare for a hurricane?
These 6 tips can help you plan ahead so you never have to face a storm unprepared.
- Check your insurance coverage
Flood insurance mandates have changed since Sandy. Make sure your policy reflects the current state of your home. Consider adding flood insurance and coverage for additional living expenses in case your home is uninhabitable after a storm.
- Do a home inventory
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. Keep receipts for valuable items and consider separate coverage for these things.
- Protect Your Property :
- Install hurricane shutters or 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.
- Head and foot bolts on doors for extra protection.
- Hurricane straps or clips to help hold the roof to the walls of your home.
- A safe room that can withstand high winds and flying debris.
- Also, be sure to keep up with your landscaping; diseased and damaged tree limbs can become serious hazards in high-speed storm winds.
- Create a Disaster Supply Kit
- A 2-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. )
- Manual can opener
- Essential medicines including eyeglasses and contact lenses
- Personal hygiene items such as toilet paper, toothbrush and toothpaste
- Change of clothing
- Paper towels, hand sanitizer, and eating utensils
- First-aid kit
- Battery-powered flashlight and radio with extra batteries
- Blankets, pillows and sleeping bags
- Mosquito repellant and citronella candles
- 2 coolers—one for food, one for ice
- Plastic tarp for roof/window repairs and tools
- Special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members
- Have an established evacuation plan
Every family should have an evacuation plan and a backup. If you don’t have transportation of your own, make arrangements now with friends or family members and don’t forget about the pets! If you have any family members, friends or neighbors with disabilities ask them about their evacuation plan.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.
- Keep important papers with you
- Driver’s license or personal ID
- Social security card
- Proof of residence (deed, lease or utility bills)
- Insurance policies (home, auto, flood, wind)
- Birth and marriage certificates
- Stocks, bond and other negotiable certificates
- Wills, deeds, and copies of recent tax returns
- Personal checkbook and any unpaid bills
- 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.