June 1, 2020, marked the start of the beginning of the 2020 hurricane season, and it is predicted to be an active one. The best time to begin preparations for a hurricane is before the threat occurs. While there is no need for alarm or panic now, it is a good idea to review safety tips and guidelines before, during, and after the hurricane season as that can help eliminate stress and risk of injury as well as protect your loved ones and your property.
5 Steps to Take Now for the 2020 Hurricane Season
Even before a hurricane threatens landfall, it is important to have your plan and supplies in place. Here are five things you can do before a hurricane arrives:
- Create a plan for your family. The best course of action when facing a potential hurricane is to make a plan. Ready.gov has resources to help you create a functional plan for you and your family. This plan will cover all of your bases whether you plan to evacuate or stay home.
- Locate a shelter. Locate your closest shelter and double-check if they are open before incorporating it into your plan. Keep in mind that some community shelters might be shut down due to COVID-19.
- Secure your home. Remove any damaged tree limbs, secure gutters, windows, and doors, as well as take pictures of your home prior to the hurricane. This will provide insurance companies with evidence in the case that you are filing for flood or hurricane claims. If you have hurricane shutters, make sure they are properly installed and close them at first sight of a tropical storm.
- Create a disaster supply kit. When storms are imminent, supplies go quickly. Avoid the crowds by preparing your disaster supply kit ahead of time. Include essentials such as flashlights, batteries, cash, first-aid items, medications, a battery-powered radio, and any important documents.
- Stock up on supplies. Gather supplies such as water, non-perishable food items, pet food, sunscreen, bug spray, and medications at the beginning of the hurricane season. Be sure to have enough food and water to last you and your family for several days.
What to do During a Hurricane
Try not to panic. We want to make sure that you and your family are well protected no matter where you may be. To remain safe during a hurricane, do the following:
- Remain Inside. Avoid going outside for any reason! During a storm, it is important to always remain inside until government officials say it is safe to go outside again.
- Stay away from windows and glass doors. Depending on the severity of the storm, windows and glass doors may face a lot of pressure due to strong winds and rain. Stay away from your windows and doors in case they suffer any damage such as cracks or breaks.
- Seek shelter in your home. During a powerful hurricane, secure your safety by seeking shelter in the lowest point of your home. This could be under a table, in a hallway, bathroom, or closet.
- Monitor the news. If you have lost power, use a portable radio to keep up with all hurricane news or follow the National Weather Service for any updates prior, during, and after a hurricane passes.
What to do After a Hurricane Passes
After government officials have announced that the storm has cleared, there are several safety considerations to keep in mind. These include:
- Check in on family/friends. Contact family members and friends via text, emails, or phone calls to ensure that they are safe and sound. Using social media is another way to reach your friends and loved ones.
- Be cautious when stepping out. If heading out to check on your neighborhood, wear tall rain boots or waders as flooded street water is often contaminated. Be sure to also stay away from debris and downed power lines.
- Investigate your property. If any damage occurred to your home or vehicle, take photographs to document the damage. This will help you when filing for insurance claims whether it be for Hurricane damage, flood damage, or auto damage.
We hope that everyone remains safe this 2020 hurricane season and begins preparations well ahead of the threat of a storm. In the event of a storm, Panter, Panter, & Sampedro is here to help represent you with your insurance claims. If your property is damaged, our attorneys will be here to walk you through every step of the legal process. Contact us at (305) 662-6178 or panterlaw.com.