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Hurricane Preparation

As hurricane season quickly approaches, the team at Davis & Massey Insurance wants to make sure you are prepared.  Whether you choose to evacuate or ride out a storm, being prepared before a hurricane threatens is vital.  It can mean the difference between you being a hurricane victim or a hurricane survivor. 

Here are some tips to help make sure you and your family is protected if your home is threatened by a hurricane.

1.  Have a Plan:  Make sure you have a plan in place if you need to evacuate the area.  Be sure to check in with family, friends and neighbors to advise them of your plan and final evacuation destination.  Become familiar with your evacuation route and make sure to keep a map in your vehicle in case you need to take an alternate route because of traffic or road closures.  If you have pets make sure you have a plan for them as well, which includes having their necessities in order if you need to evacuate on short notice.  Last but not least make sure your vehicles are gassed up and ready to go in the event evacuation orders are given. 

2.  Emergency Binder:  It is a good idea to have an emergency binder with copies of all of your family’s important paperwork all together so you can pick it up and go.  Keep your emergency binder in a safe place and take it with you anytime you go on vacation or need to leave your home for any extended length of time.  Make sure that your binder only has copies of your documents; your original documents should be stored in a fire and water proof safe or in a safety deposit box at your bank.  Some of the documents that should be copied and included in your emergency binder are:  drivers license, social security card, passport, credit cards, recent bank statement, birth certificate, marriage license, immunization records, pet records, deed to home or rental agreement, titles to vehicles, home inventory list, home insurance policy, flood insurance policy, auto insurance policy, and life insurance policy just to name a few.

3.  Emergency Kit:  You should have an emergency kit packed and ready to go.  Some of the essential items that you should include in your emergency kit are:  at least a 3 day supply of non perishable food, water (one gallon per person per day, plan for at least 3 days), flashlight and batteries, candles and matches, first aid kit,  important medications, cash (make sure to have change and small bills), change of clothes to include a pair of closed toe shoes, personal hygiene products, list of emergency contacts (phone numbers and addresses), duct tape and tarp, as well as your NOAA weather radio.

4.  Create a Home Inventory:  Keep track of your belongings by creating a home inventory.  Your inventory should list all of your items along with their value.  It is also a good idea to include a photo or video of your items as well.  Make sure to update your list after making any significant purchases.  You should store this home inventory list in your emergency binder to take with you when you leave.  This should help if you do have a loss and need to file a claim against your insurance.

5.  Prepare and Protect Your Property:  Make sure to remove any weak or dead limbs from trees and shrubs.  Ensure you have hurricane shutters or plywood for each window of your homes.  Put away any patio furniture, outside decorations, or anything in your yard that could be picked up by the wind.   Keep tarps and duct tape on hand in case you need them to help secure your property from further storm damage.

Make sure to always stay informed by local media outlets and up to date on all emergency procedures.  Remember to continuously tune into your local weather broadcasts along with listening to your NOAA weather radio.  (Make sure to program your radio to your local county.)  Hurricane season will officially start on June 1st so don't wait until it's too late to get prepared.  As your local independent insurance agent we are here to answer any questions that you make have about Home or Flood Insurance.  Give our professional and knowledgeable staff at Davis & Massey Insurance a call today at 843-839-9229 or visit us at davismasseyins.com.

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