Hurricane Safety Tips: Home, Property, And Auto Insurance
Every June, meteorologists start to warn the population about the possibility of a hurricane landfall. Unlike tornadoes, you can normally see one of these events coming in enough time to get out of harm’s way; however, they can still be very deadly. In fact, according to deaths from extreme weather events from 1993 to 2006, they were No. 3 behind excessive cold (No. 1) and excessive heat (No. 2) for causing the most fatalities.
In all, 10 percent of documented deaths as a result of the weather could be directly blamed on a hurricane. And with the U.S. seeing traces of its first in early July — thanks to Hurricane Arthur — it’s never too late to prepare for the worst.
From the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency:
“As recently as 2012, we witnessed the destructive power of Hurricane Sandy in neighboring states immediately to our south. While Massachusetts was fortunate to be spared the worst of that storm, it reminds us of the importance of preparing for the region’s next major storm,” stated Kurt Schwartz, the group’s director.
While the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center is predicting a less active 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season, keep in mind that active and severe are two different things. It only takes one landfall to cause enormous property damage and loss of life.
Keeping that in mind, we’ve put together, with the help of our friends at Progressive and Allstate, a master list of safety tips concerning your home, property, and auto needs if you’re ever to be touched by one of these storms.
For Home And Property
“Being properly prepared is paramount during hurricane season,” notes State Farm’s Holly Anderson. “It can make a big difference to your safety, security and survival.” To get your property “hurricane ready,” Anderson suggests these seven tips.
- Shingles – A roofing professional can evaluate your roof, and, if needed, set additional roofing cement under each tab to help keep shingles attached during a high wind event.
- Soffits – Use polyurethane sealant and stainless steel screws to secure your soffits to the walls and fascia to prevent them from blowing off.
- Seals – Any cracks or holes where cables, pipes, or wires enter the home should be sealed with caulk.
- Grounds – Secure your surroundings to prevent damage from flying debris.
- Windows – Install impact-resistant permanent shutters that meet local building code approved standards. You can also install permanent fasteners so protective panels (such as ??” plywood) can be quickly put in place.
- Doors – All entry doors should have three hinges and a dead bolt lock with at least a one-inch bolt throw length.
- Garage – Consider installing a hurricane-resistant garage door, or have a steel bracing kit installed to help support the door against wind pressure.
For Cars And Driving
According to Progressive, “Hurricanes can spawn tornadoes, landslides and floods, so if you’re in a hurricane’s path, you should take extra precautions to ensure a safe evacuation and return to the area. Being prepared can help you escape the hurricane’s trail of destruction.”
In order to succeed at being prepared, Progressive auto insurance recommends leaving the area and leaving early. “Use a hurricane planning guide/map or listen to the radio to identify your evacuation route. Take important documents with you. Place your auto/home insurance documents, vehicle registration, title and other important documents in a waterproof bag and keep them with you.”
Furthermore, the company urges drivers to bring supplies and to fill up with gas as soon as possible to avoid long lines.
Also on driving safely, they caution to “Bring along a flashlight and extra batteries, a first-aid kit, cash and credit cards and snacks and other food. Remember: You could end up spending a day or more in your car.”
If you are driving in a hurricane, Progressive warns not to drive over downed electrical lines, and if at all possible, to avoid flooded streets.
“Do not travel down a road submerged in water,” the company notes. “Underlying currents could carry your vehicle away and your car could stall, trapping you in rising floodwaters. Don’t overlook deep water dangers during hurricanes. Dirty water and sediment flow in with sudden coastal and inland flooding, and if you try to drive through deep water, you’re not only risking your personal safety, but you could damage your car’s inside — seats, electrical components, carpeting, etc.”
Progressive states that more than half of all hurricane deaths in the last 30 years resulted from inland flooding, and that “Of those deaths, one in four people drowned in a car.”
A hurricane has so many hidden dangers beyond the rising water and hard winds as you can see here. If one is coming your way, don’t take chances. Prepare early, double- and triple-check your vehicle for supplies and gas, do everything you can to secure your property, and head for safer territory. We hope it doesn’t happen to you, but if it does, the above tips can save your life.