Hurricane Irma, a potentially catastrophic Category 5 hurricane, may pose a serious threat to Florida and parts of the Southeast beginning this weekend. We wanted to quickly reach out to you and make sure that you and your family are up to date and fully prepared for any potential weather conditions that may strike your area.
Basic Preparedness Tips
- Know where to go. If you are ordered to evacuate, know the local hurricane evacuation route(s) to take and have a plan for where you can stay. Contact your local emergency management agency for more information.
- Take photos or a video of everything inside your home.
- Stock up on water and non-perishable food items.
- Prepare an emergency kit in a waterproof container or bag. Include your insurance documents, other important documents (e.g. birth certificates and vehicle registrations), flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, phone chargers and prescription bottles. Keep this kit with you.
- Click here to access your insurance policy information and a list of all our carriers and their claims numbers. (Scroll to the bottom for the list)
- Designate an out-of-area contact that your family members can call in case you are separated.
- If there is time, board up windows and place sandbags around your property.
- If you are not in an area that is advised to evacuate and you decide to stay in your home, plan for adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days and you are not able to leave due to flooding or blocked roads.
- Make a family emergency communication plan.
- Many communities have text or email alerting systems for emergency notifications. To find out what alerts are available in your area, search the Internet with your town, city, or county name and the word “alerts.”
Preparing Your Home
- Turn off breaker boxes prior to evacuating: This will help prevent electrical surges from destroying your appliances. Also, in the event of water infiltration, it prevents shorts that can lead to fires.
- Never drive through standing water. Underlying currents could carry your vehicle away or trap you in rising floodwaters. Find an alternate route. Know your evacuation route and follow the direction of your state and local officials.
- Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall, so before hurricane season trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.
- Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property.
- Reduce property damage by retrofitting to secure and reinforce the roof, windows and doors, including the garage doors.
- Purchase a portable generator or install a generator for use during power outages. Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture; and NEVER try to power the house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet.
Hurricane watch = conditions possible within the next 48 hrs.
Steps to take:
- Review your evacuation route(s) & listen to local officials.
- Review the items in your disaster supply kit; and add items to meet the household needs for children, parents, individuals with disabilities or other access and functional needs or pets.
Hurricane warning = conditions are expected within 36 hrs.
Steps to take:
- Follow evacuation orders from local officials, if given.
- Check-in with family and friends by texting or using social media.
- Follow the hurricane timeline preparedness checklist, depending on when the storm is anticipated to hit and the impact that is projected for your location.
To see the full overview of recommended hurricane preparedness tips, visit ready.gov/hurricanes.
As always, you can count on us to be there to answer any coverage questions you may have!