Four Step Guide to protect yourself from hurricanes

By Velocity Services Group on March 20 2017, 20:22

Protect yourself and your property from Hurricane damage

Six months out of the year, an average of 12 Tropical Storms traipse through the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, or the Gulf of Mexico. About half of those turn into destructive hurricanes packed with storm surges that can travel many miles inland with a subsequent breakout of tornadoes. High winds and heavy rain also contribute to property destruction and loss of life. If you live in any of the storm evacuation areas, are you fully prepared if disaster strikes? Here are four steps you can take before Hurricane Season that can save your life and your property.

1. Evacuation Plan

If you are ordered to leave, do you know how to evacuate? What about an alternative route? Keep in mind potential route changes if bridges or roads are damaged. Have an agreed-upon meetup or check-in destination for you and your family. Use shelters as a last resort and stay local if possible. Call information if you need shelter information as it may change frequently.

Make sure to give yourself enough time to leave and prepare for traffic. Fill up your car and have it road-ready long before Hurricane Season starts. Things move fast when the order to evacuate happens. Knowing all possible routes and having a reliable transportation is one less thing to worry about when you have to act fast.

Each state has a planned evacuation route and accurate information local to your area.

Choose your state below for local hurricane preparedness instructions:

2. Protect your home

To minimize damage to your property and others, start early by keeping trees and landscaping trimmed and pruned. Keep plywood and supplies on hand to board up all windows. Turn off the gas and unplug all electrical items. Move loose items inside, including parked vehicles. Secure all doors, including garage doors as they are subject to the most damage and vandalism. If possible, build a sandbag wall around low-lying areas of your property.

Finally, purchase home insurance, including separate flood insurance. Check floodsmart.gov for info about your flood risk. Keep your policy up to date. Take pictures around your home and store them offsite in a safe location, like a cloud server or safe deposit box. Don't stop at just your house. Think about what coverage you would need to replace your valuables if they are ever lost, stolen or damaged. If you return to a damaged home from hail, fire, flood or other destruction from hurricanes, call Velocity Services Group 24/7. We make emergency calls and provide consultations for your restoration needs.

3. Plan for your pets

If you have to leave in a hurry, do you have a safe place for your furry or feathered friends? Keep your pets' vaccination and vital records up to date, handy and dry in plastic bags or containers. Make a note of any hotels, kennels, boarding or lodging that can take your pets and book in advance. Have a backup plan in case those plans fall through.

4. Supplies

Think of anything and everything you will need if you have no access to food, water or power. Grocery stores and ATMs may be offline and gas stations inaccessible without electricity.

  • Gallon of water per person per day
  • Spare cash
  • Non-perishable food for three or more days
  • Battery operated radio with extra batteries
  • Toilet paper, soap, plastic bags, hygiene gear
  • Clothing, shoes, bedding
  • Medicine/prescriptions
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • Cell phones and hand-crank charging kits like this one
  • Baby food and supplies
  • Pet supplies including food, leashes, bedding, vet records
  • Current photos of family members and pets
  • Car roadside assistance kits like this one and a full tank of gas
  • Copy of important identifying documents and banking information stored in water-proof cases like this one

For more information on how to build your own Supply Kit, visit Ready.gov

Being prepared is smart!

Dealing with the aftermath of a Hurricane can be such a stressful time for you and your family. Do what you can now to minimize the impact by taking all of the above precautions before Hurricane season hits. And remember, if you ever need help regarding your property, call Velocity Services Group 24/7 or schedule a consultation today.