Hurricane season starts in June, so now is the best time to prepare for a storm – well before one is on the horizon. The following information and resources are intended to help you reduce risk to your business, home and family, well in advance of a hurricane or wind storm.
Recognize Tree Risks.
Fallen trees and tree limbs can be a major cause of damage during a storm. In fact, during Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Irene, more losses were attributed to trees than anything else. If you have trees near your home, consider having them examined by an arborist to make sure they are healthy and stable.
Assess Your Roof.
The older your roof, the weaker it likely is and the more exposed it may be to wind and water damage. Consider hiring a roofing specialist to do a thorough review of your roof and soffits, identify any loose or missing tiles or issues with flashing, and repair them as soon as possible.
Secure the Openings to Your Home.
If you have storm shutters for your windows, make sure that they are operating well. If your shutters need to be put up manually, be sure that your contract to have them fitted is up-to-date and that your contractor will be able to put them in place at short notice.
Reduce the Potential for Flying Debris.
In advance of a storm, clear the areas around your home of fallen branches, yard ornaments, lawn furniture and other items that may become wind-borne debris. In coastal areas, if you are re-landscaping your driveway or garden, consider alternatives to gravel or stones.
Develop a Hurricane Plan.
Your employees or family may not be together when a storm or other disaster strikes. How will you find each other? How will you know if everyone is safe? You may have to evacuate or be confined to your home. What will you do if water, gas, electricity or phone services are shut off? Having a hurricane plan in place can help you answer all of these questions.
Make Use of Today’s Technology.
In an emergency situation, like a hurricane, your smartphone can be a very useful tool. In addition to providing you access to useful news and weather apps (like CNN and The Weather Channel), it can double as a flashlight, backup storage for vital documents and photos, and can help you to locate family members. Learn about the many mobile apps and tools available to help you in an emergency situation.
Make Sure You are Covered for Flood Damage.
Did you know that homeowners policies do not cover flood damage? Talk to your Rand Insurance agent about your options for flood coverage.