It only takes one storm to change your life and community. –National Weather Service (NOAA)
According to the National Weather Service Center the Atlantic hurricane season officially began June 1st and will end November 30th this year, but what exactly does that mean for you, your home and your family? In the Greater Houston area, in particular, where we sit on the Gulf Coast these can be especially important answers to have and I hope to provide more information on this for you today. For business and homeowners alike this can be a very stressful and uncertain time of year but I would like to give you a little more insight on how to be prepared and what insurance coverage could make a meaningful difference in the event of a natural disaster.
How do I prepare for Hurricane Season?
- For business and homeowners the first step is to determine your risk factors. Knowing the types of wind and water hazards that could arise are key to weathering the storms.
- Knowing if you live or work in a storm surge hurricane evacuation zone is also very important. If you do, and in many cases even if you don’t, having a prepared evacuation plan in writing for your family or staff would be a measure worth taking. Plan ahead as to where you would go and how you would get there in the event of an evacuation and always remember to include a plan for pets if you have furry family members.
- Whether you are in a hurricane surge zone or not, it is always wise to keep in mind that the effects of these types pf storms can sometimes have inclement weather impacts hundreds of miles off of where they make landfall. Having an emergency disaster kit ready before the storm is essential. If you have one already, checking for expired products or missing or old items that may need to be replaced would be good practice every year. There are obviously differences in people and families but here is a brief list of the most essential items to have prepared.
Disaster Kit Basics:
- Enough food and clean water to last each person a week
- If you have prescription medications be sure they are filled and that you have them on hand.
- Battery operated radio, extra batteries, flashlights, and phone chargers are always good to keep in your kit.
- If you are aware of an upcoming storm be sure to gas up your vehicle and have extra cash on hand as many times this will be the only method of payment in some areas should electrical or phone lines go down.
What do I need to know about my insurance?
It is important to have a discussion with your insurance agent about the different coverage you have as well as what may be available that you don’t. Always remember flood insurance must be obtained separately from you homeowners or business property policies. This is a vital coverage that, in most cases, is inexpensive and can have a big impact if any damages are obtained due to flooding. Be sure you prepare your home, vehicle, or business according to your policy and have a hard copy of all policy documents accessible in the event of an emergency or evacuation.
If you ever have any questions about your current coverage or would simply like an insurance check-up we here at First Insurance Solutions are always here to help you detect individual risks whether it be in your home or business, and assist in getting you the protection you need.
Contributed by Lydia Ramos
Sources: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration & National Weather Service