Hurricane season—from June to November—is fast approaching, increasing the chances of flooding, destructive winds, heavy rainfall and even tornadoes. Since the elements cannot be controlled, this time of year is a big source of stress for many people who live near oceans or other bodies of water. But some advance preparation can help keep your family safe and reduce property damage.
The first step is to make a plan with your family in case an emergency situation does occur. A good plan helps keep everyone safe and in contact with each other during a hurricane or similar flooding situation. Sit down to discuss possible scenarios and what you all should do to stay out of harm’s way. Consider the following:
- Where is the safest area in your home? You may need to gather there during a storm.
- In case of evacuation, where will you go? Are there local hurricane shelters or family members that live outside the risky area?
- What will you do with your pets in the event of a hurricane?
- Ensure that everyone’s phone contains important phone numbers, including other family members, your independent insurance agent, business contacts and hurricane damage restoration specialists.
- Call your agent to review your coverage. Flood insurance comes with a 30-day waiting period, so do not put off buying it until a storm has been predicted.
- Pack up some emergency supplies, including a first aid kit, medications, bottled water, non-perishable food, phone chargers, a weather radio, flashlights, extra batteries, blankets and more.
Having a plan is a great start. But if an impending hurricane is predicted, you should also take steps to protect your property from extensive damages. Here are a few pointers:
- Protect windows with shutters or, if you don’t have shutters, you can board them up with plywood.
- Move valuables as high as possible (a second story is best) to avoid water damage in the event of flooding.
- Park your car(s) inside the garage or store them indoors elsewhere. If you need one car for evacuation, make sure it has a full tank of gas.
- All outdoor items—patio furniture, lawn ornaments, propane tanks etc.—must be secured so they don’t float or blow away, which can cause damages. Storing them in a garage or shed is best.
- Fill up bathtubs and sinks with water in case your home’s water gets turned off.
Even though your property may not be coastal, we all have exposures to hurricanes from the rain, flooding and wind that accompanies them even inland. Tornadoes although rare in many areas still do occur.
If your property is affected by a hurricane or flood waters, call your agent immediately to start the claims process. The key is acting fast to document damages and arrange for restoration and repair. Your agent will help you through the process and get you back on your feet as soon as possible.
We’ve got your back. Call Ten Eyck Group at (518) 464-0059 for more information on Albany flood insurance.