Even if your community has never experienced a hurricane, there’s always a first time. While these storms can be frightening and destructive, there are steps you can take to help keep your family and your property safe. Listed below are some simple tips to consider before, during and after a hurricane. First though, it’s important to know the difference between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning:
WATCH: Hurricane conditions are possible in the specific area of the watch, usually within 36 hours.
WARNING: Hurricane conditions are expected in the specific area of the warning, usually within 24 hours.
What to do now:
- Prepare an evacuation plan.
- Identify ahead of time how to get out of your area and where you should go.
- Assemble a disaster safety kit with the following items:
- First Aid kit
- Canned food and can opener
- Bottled water
- Rain gear, sleeping bags and bedding
- Battery powered radio and flashlight with additional batteries
- Important documents
When a hurricane watch is issued:
- Stay tuned to NOAA radio or your local TV and radio stations.
- Prepare to evacuate.
- Fuel your vehicle
- Charge your cell phone and back up power bank if you have one.
- Check your safety kit to make sure everything in there and in working order.
When a hurricane warning is issued:
- Listen to local authorities and NOAA and evacuate if you are told to do so.
- If you are not told to evacuate, stay indoors and away from windows.
- Be alert.
- Stay away from flood water – if a road is flooded, turn around and find another route.
After a hurricane:
- Listen to local authorities and only back to your home when allowed to.
- Keep listening to NOAA radio for updates.
- Inspect your home for damage.
- If your property has sustained damage, contact your Independent Insurance Agent as soon as possible to report your claim and protect your property as best you can from further damage.
- Make sure that if you have a generator, you use it safely – never indoors.
- Do not drink the water unless you are sure it is safe.
Early preparation can go a long way in helping you before, during and after a storm. Don’t ignore the risk of a hurricane just because there hasn’t been one in your area recently. Please take precautions and stay safe.
For more information and the latest on any potential hurricanes, visit http://www.noaa.gov