Preparing for the 2021 summer storm season
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th. According to the National Weather service there will be an estimated 19 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes this season. This is above the 30-year average of 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes, but we don’t expect anything close to what happened in 2020. However, the bottom line is it’s impossible to know for certain if a U.S. hurricane strike will occur this season. Keep in mind that even a weak tropical storm hitting the U.S. can cause major impacts, particularly if it moves slowly and its rainfall triggers flooding.
Property owners should take preliminary precautions before the onset of the season and be vigilant during the season to protect their property by following these few steps.
Initially, it would be prudent to sign up for emergency weather alerts and chart an evacuation plan or route in the event you will need to leave your home. Rehearse your emergency plan with your family. Share the physical route with your family, but also create a communication plan due to the loss of cell phone service or local phone lines may be jammed, making it more likely a long-distance call will go through. Designate a contact outside of town, whom each family member is instructed to check in with to let them know they are safe and share their whereabouts.
Assemble or update an emergency kit. Take a moment to replenish items that have been used, rotate food or water that is close to its expiration date, and add what’s needed, such as new prescriptions and masks for family members.
Most importantly, property owners need to concentrate on how to prepare their home. While you might need to handle some of these activities when a hurricane is imminent, there are steps you can take now to safeguard your home.
*Outside: Prune trees and shrubs to lessen damage from high winds. Install storm shutters on external windows. Take a walk around your yard to identify items that should be secured, such as water features and outdoor furniture that can’t be easily stowed.
*Inside: Take an inventory of all your belongings to help with the claims process, if needed. Verify that furniture, art, and mirrors are anchored to the walls. Make copies of important papers and store them in a fireproof safe or safety deposit box. Rounding up your pets.
Secure items, indoor and outdoor, that are too big to move but could fly around.
Parking your cars on higher ground or somewhere where they will be safe, such as inside the garage or away from trees and power lines.
Moving irreplaceable items to a higher level in case of flooding.
Turning off the main circuit breaker to avoid short circuiting.
Gathering items you intend to take with you.
Finally, double-check your home insurance policy.
While most home insurance policies cover hurricane damage, it’s always wise to make sure you understand your policy to avoid an unwelcome surprise. For example, in some states there may be special deductibles for damage caused by hurricanes, and they could vary depending on what factor triggered the hurricane, says the Insurance Information Institute. You also should see if your insurance covers “replacement costs,” which is different from market value and considers how much it costs to replace your home and its contents in today’s dollars.
Diane Lott, Broker
Owner: Paradise Found Realty
Paradise Found Realty, Inc. of Palm City
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