Hurricane Preparedness Quide
2012 Real Estate Hurricane Preparedness Guide
History teaches that a lack of hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster.
Hurricane hazards come in many forms: storm surge, high winds, tornadoes, and flooding. This means it is important for your family to have a plan that includes all of these hazards. Look carefully at the safety actions associated with each type of hurricane hazard and prepare your family disaster plan accordingly. But remember this is only a guide. The first and most important thing anyone should do when facing a hurricane threat is to use common sense.
Know Hurricane Terms:
Hurricane Watch – A hurricane is possible within thirty-six hours. Stay tuned for additional information.
Hurricane Warning – A hurricane is expected within twenty-four hours. You may be advised to evacuate. If so, evacuate immediately.
Storm Surge – Storm surge is simply water that is pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds swirling around the storm. This advancing surge combines with the normal tides to create the hurricane storm tide, which can increase the mean water level 15 feet or more.
Ask your local emergency preparedness office about evacuation plans. Learn evacuation routes.
- Plan a place to meet your family in case you are separated from one another in the hurricane.
Assemble a disaster supplies kit ( See information below)
- Board up windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection. Also, you can use 5/8″ marine plywood. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
- Know how to shut off utilities.
- Make a record of your personal property( take digital photos or video tape the contents of your home and/or business and keep in a waterproof with you along with your homeowners insurance policy)
- Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed.
- Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
- Determine how and where to secure your boat.
- Consider flood insurance and purchase it well in advance
30 Days To Hurricane Season: Time For Flood Insurance
The Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1 – 30 flood days from now. Since flood insurance takes 30 days to become effective after a homeowner applies, today marks your last chance to get flood insurance by the June 1 debut.
“Past hurricane seasons have shown that storms can form as early as the beginning of June, so property owners can’t afford to wait to buy flood insurance,” says Ed Connor, acting federal insurance administrator and acting assistant administrator, FEMA Mitigation Directorate.
Many homeowners still wrongly believe that their property insurance policy will cover all damage from a hurricane.
“Homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flood damage and, without flood insurance, property owners may have to absorb the financial losses on their own,” says Connor. “Just a few inches of water can cost thousands of dollars in repairs and, in this economy, few can afford that potential drain on their savings.”
Flood insurance is available through about 85 insurance companies in approximately 20,600 participating communities nationwide. National flood insurance is available to renters, business owners and homeowners, even if it is not required by the terms of a mortgage. While the average flood insurance policy costs about $540 a year, homeowners can protect their properties in moderate-to low-risk areas with lower cost Preferred Risk Policies (PRPs) that start at just $119 a year.
Individuals can learn how to prepare for floods, how to purchase a flood insurance policy and the benefits of protecting their properties against flooding by visiting Floodsmart.gov (http://www.floodsmart.gov) or calling (800) 427-2419.
Have a Place To Go:
Develop a family hurricane preparedness plan before an actual storm threatens your area. If your family hurricane preparedness plan includes evacuation to a safer location for any of the reasons specified with in this web site, then it is important to consider the following points:
If ordered to evacuate, do not wait or delay your departure. If possible, leave before local officials issue an evacuation order for your area. Even a slight delay in starting your evacuation will result in significantly longer travel times as traffic congestion worsens.
Select an evacuation destination that is nearest to your home, preferably in the same county, or at least minimize the distance over which you must travel in order to reach your intended shelter location. In choosing your destination, keep in mind that the hotels and other sheltering options in most inland metropolitan areas are likely to be filled very quickly in a large, multi-county hurricane evacuation event.
If you decide to evacuate to another county or region, be prepared to wait in traffic. The large number of people in this state who must evacuate during a hurricane will probably cause massive delays and major congestion along most designated evacuation routes; the larger the storm, the greater the probability of traffic jams and extended travel times.
If possible, make arrangements to stay with the friend or relative who resides closest to your home and who will not have to evacuate. Discuss with your intended host the details of your family evacuation plan well before the beginning of the hurricane season.
If a hotel or motel is your final intended destination during an evacuation, make reservations before you leave. Most hotel and motels will fill quickly once evacuations begin. The longer you wait to make reservations, even if an official evacuation order has not been issued for your area or county, the less likely you are to find hotel/motel room vacancies, especially along interstate highways and in major metropolitan areas.
If you are unable to stay with friends or family and no hotels/motels rooms are available, then as a last resort go to a shelter. Remember, shelters are not designed for comfort and do not usually accept pets. Bring your disaster supply kit with you to the shelter. Find Pet-Friendly hotels and motels.
Make sure that you fill up your car with gas, before you leave.
Preparing Your Pets for Emergencies Makes Sense.Get Ready Now.
If you are like millions of animal owners nationwide, your pet is an important member of your household. The likelihood that you and your animals will survive an emergency such as a fire or flood, tornado or hurricane depends largely on emergency planning done today. Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling an animal emergency supply kit and developing a pet care buddy system, are the same for any emergency. Whether you decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to a safer location, you will need to make plans in advance for your pets. Keep in mind that what’s best for you is typically what’s best for your animals.
If you must evacuate, take your pets with you if possible. However, if you are going to a public shelter, it is important to understand that animals may not be allowed inside. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets.
Make a back-up emergency plan in case you can’t care for your animals yourself. Develop a buddy system with neighbors, friends and relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least three days, maybe longer.
Disaster Supply Kit:
I personally prepare a hurricane closet in May with all the needed supplies and materials so that there is never a last minute rush to the store when the shelves have been cleaned out.
- Plan on one gallon of water per person per day for at least 3 days, for drinking, washing, cooking, and sanitation. Extra water for pets
- Store as much as possible in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles.
- Avoid using breakable containers, such as glass bottles or mason jars.
- Fill bathtubs with water for bathing and washing dishes
- Store at least a three day supply of non perishable food.
- Choose foods that do not require refrigeration or cooking.
- Choose foods that are healthy and high nutrition type. (Canned meats fruits and vegetables,protein or fruit bars, dry cereal or granola, peanut butter, dried fruit, nuts, crackers, canned juices, non-perishable pasteurized milk, high energy foods, vitamins, food for infants and pets, comfort/stress foods)
Supplies and Equipment:
- A battery operated radio with extra batteries
- NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries
- A flashlight with extra batteries
- Blankets or sleeping bags ( store in trash bags to keep dry)
- Paper plates and utensils, including a non electric can opener
- Candles and matches in a waterproof container
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, moist towelettes, and other personal grooming items
- Paper towels and toilet paper
- First aid kit and medicines ( ask your pharmacist or drug supply company for a one month hurricane supply and store in water proof container)
- Fire extinguisher
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Cell phone and plug in battery operated charger
- Infant formula and diapers
- books, games and toys to keep kids occupied ( remember those batteries)
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
- Complete change of clothing including long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes
- Insect repellent and sun-screen
- Paper and pencil
- Local Maps
* Have an emergency communication plan in place before the storm hits. How will co-workers stay in contact if the physical location of a business is damaged?
* Turn off all non-critical work devices before the storm hits.
* Alert a third party about business evacuation plans in case a storm makes it impossible to get to your place of business.
* Protect important business documents that you may need quickly, such as property insurance policies.
* Have cash on hand to pay employees or contractors after the storm.
* Know which employees are certified in CPR, EMT, etc.
* If possible, disconnect a building’s main electrical feeds.
* Have a plan to notify all employees, post-storm, about damage and how you’ll move forward.
* Review contracts that are date sensitive and have a backup plan in place to handle potential problems.
* Assess all functions that could be impacted by a lapse in business – cash flow, bills, budgets and any upcoming events.
Hurricane Safety Information:
American Red Cross
EPA – Drinking Water, Waste Water, and other Hurricane Hazards