SUMMARY:As the 2018 hurricane season approaches, you should take precautions to make sure you're prepared for upcoming storms and floods.Whether you live along the coast or in an area that's occasionally affected by hurricanes, you'll want to know how to protect your family and property.
Sign Up for Wireless Emergency Alerts
The sooner you know about a hurricane, the easier it is for you to decide how you should respond. Signing up for Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) ensures that you have the latest information about extreme weather events in your area. You don't even have to rely on a television or radio since the messages get sent to your mobile device.
Buy or Build a Survival Kit
You never know what will happen after a hurricane hits your area. When the unexpected happens, having a well-stocked survival kit could make the difference between life and death.
Regardless of whether you buy or build a survival kit, make sure it contains:
- Enough food and water for three days.
- Medical supplies such as bandages, antibiotic cream and medications.
- Toilet paper and towels.
- A charged cell phone and small radio.
- Tools like flashlights, matches and whistles.
- Extra batteries.
- Protective footwear and gloves.
Make and Practice an Evacuation Plan
A severe hurricane may force you to evacuate your home. Develop a realistic evacuation plan and practice it with your family. Your evacuation plan should include:
- Knowledge of evacuation routes and emergency shelters near you.
- A vehicle with a full tank of fuel.
- An out-of-state contact you can visit if necessary.
- A designated spot where family members can meet if they get separated from the group.
Ideally, every member of your family should have a cell phone so they can communicate with each other during the evacuation. Cellular networks may get overwhelmed during the emergency, so you may need to rely on text messages.
Prepare Your Property to Survive the Storm
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma caused as much as $290 billion of damage in 2017. Protecting your home will help give you a place to live after the storm and minimize the hurricane's overall damage.
You can protect your property from high winds by:
- Reinforcing your windows with storm shutters or plywood.
- Connecting appliances to surge protectors to stop voltage spikes from damaging them.
- Securing outdoor items (grills, propane tanks, etc.) that the wind could turn into projectiles.
Protect your home from floodwaters by:
- Keeping your gutters clean so they can usher water away from your home.
- Installing a sump pump with a battery backup.
- Waterproofing your basement.
- Using sandbags to keep water from coming through doorways and windows.
While you may not be able to prevent all types of damage, you can at least minimize the damage that your property suffers during the storm.
Purchase Flood Insurance That Protects You From Financial Loss
No matter how well you prepare, a hurricane could cause significant floods that ruin your home. Hurricane Harvey caused intense flooding that damaged about 100,000 homes in Texas. When the water starts to rise, there's only so much you can do to protect your house.
Unfortunately, you can't rely on your homeowner's insurance policy to cover flood damage. You'll need a flood insurance policy that pays for things like:
- Personal items
- Debris removal
- Carpet replacement
- Mold removal
Without flood insurance, you could have to pay out of pocket for thousands of dollars in damage.
TDECU flood insurance policies offer the protection that people living in hurricane-prone areas need. Contact TDECU Insurance Agency to get an instant quote on an affordable policy that could save you a lot of money during the 2018 hurricane season.