The weather systems have been acting up lately and spawning tropical depressions that could turn into hurricanes. Hurricane season doesn’t end until November 1st. If you haven’t taken any steps to prepare for hurricanes, you should do so now.
First, make sure you have flood insurance. Floods are not covered by your homeowner’s policy. You have to buy special flood insurance. Your agent will be able to help you acquire the coverage.
Then you need to prepare a hurricane emergency kit. This kit should contain some bottled water, batteries, a battery-operated or crank-operated radio, blankets, clothing, and some crackers or snack foods. It should also contain a good first aid kit. Keep this emergency kit in a location that is easy to reach in the event you are evacuated or you decide to head inland to avoid the worst of the storm.
You should also include some games, books, or puzzle books to keep your family occupied if you end up sitting in a shelter for any amount of time. You can’t be sure that there will be reliable electricity for electronic games in a shelter.
Make photocopies of your important documents. These should include proof of ownership papers for your car, home, boat, and other valuable items. You need to be able to prove you owned these items if they are lost or damaged in the hurricane. Store these papers in your emergency kit, or in a safe deposit box that is located far away from any potential hurricane damage area.
Make a list of other items you will need that can’t be stored in your emergency kit right now. This list should include items such as medications, chargers for your electronics, valuable jewelry, toiletries, baby food, and backup copies of computer drives if you don’t have online storage for your data.
Also make a list of the things you need to do before you leave your home. If you believe your absence could be prolonged, you may want to shut off the electricity before leaving. Your frozen foods may be ruined, but electricity and water don’t mix well. You will want to close hurricane shutters, or put plywood panels over all of your windows. It’s also a good idea to check the yard for anything that could damage your house if it flew around in a hurricane. Patio items, for example, could be stored in the garage.
Keep these lists in the hurricane kit. That way, everyone will know just where they are when they are needed. Review the lists once a year for any revisions.
If you have a pet, you need to have a plan for what to do with your pet in the event you need to evacuate. If you plan to stay at a motel that is inland, you need to make sure the motel will accept pets or else find a shelter that can keep your pet while you wait out the storm. Don’t forget to include some pet food in your emergency kit if your pet will be staying with you.
At least once a year, go through your hurricane emergency kit. Replace old batteries, water bottles, and anything else that has an expiration date or could go bad in the near future. You want your kit to be fully functional in the event you need it. With a little preparation you should be able to weather the storm just fine!
If you are considering buying or selling a home, give us a call. We have been helping people buy and sell real estate in Brunswick County for over 40 years!