It goes without any doubt that you will be hit with a damaging storm sooner or later if you live in hurricane territory. When it happens, you should prepare more than putting up a few gallons of water and covering your windows. This article give you some information about how early preparations will pay off before hurricane season.
1. Before hurricane season starts, meet with your insurance agent and review your coverage. You may have to purchase additional coverage for water damage. Are you covered for the replacement value of your belongings? If not, you may only receive cents on the dollar to cover any losses.
2. Walk around your property. Are there trees that should be trimmed so that they will not fall on your home? Have the work done before storm season arrives and you will avoid possible damage to your home and or vehicles from falling tree limbs or toppling trees.
3. Decide where you will ride out a smaller storm. You may not plan to evacuate during every weather event. If you might remain at home, which room would be the safest should the storm increase in strength? Choose a room without windows, if possible. Decide ahead of time whether you would be safer on an upper floor where flood waters are unlikely to reach, or if you would be safer on the sturdier ground floor. If you choose an upstairs room, could you exit out a window if necessary?
4. If the authorities recommend evacuation, decide before hurricane season which route you would choose and where you would go. Be sure to have alternate routes for any roads that might be closed due to high water. Identify your hurricane shelters and get information about what personal supplies you will be required to bring should you need a shelter. Keep at least one complete set of maps in your vehicle.
5. Purchase hurricane shutters that can be either mounted easily or that remain on permanent hinges. You want to avoid the last minute rush for plywood that may leave you without.
6. Plan in advance for your pets. Can they travel with you? Is there a good boarding facility where they would be safe? Will they be welcome at the "other end" if you evacuate to friends or relatives? Make sure that they are current with their vaccinations and that they are wearing sturdy collars and tags.
7. Gather important phone numbers. In addition to carrying a list with you, send a copy to someone in another part of the country, and email it to yourself at a Yahoo! or other free email account. You will be able to access this email from anywhere you can find a computer. Be sure to include your important business contacts and your insurance agent(s) on this list along with your personal contacts.
When a hurricane is rapidly approaching it will be too late to make these preparations. Many only have to be done once. Get them done while the weather is good and you will be able to focus more completely on the more last minute things you need to do to prepare for a hurricane.