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September 06, 2017

Hurricane Preparedness

Homeownership

Hurricane season is in full swing. Texas and Louisiana just experienced the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey and already another powerful storm, Hurricane Irma, has hit Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, while Florida braces for its impact.

Homeowners boarding their windows to prepare for a storm

Unfortunately, no one can stop a tropical storm or hurricane from happening, but you can prepare and take steps to ensure the safety of your family.

If you live in an area that falls within the projected path of a hurricane or other severe weather, follow these basic preparedness tips, including:

  • Knowing where to go in the event of a local area evacuation. Your local area emergency management agency can provide this information.
  • Gathering and protecting important household documentation, including birth certificates, passports, marriage licenses, mortgage statements, deed, insurance policies and medical files.
  • Protecting your valuables and family mementos by storing them in a safety deposit box, fire– and water–proof safe, or moving them to higher ground where they are less likely to incur damage.
  • Downloading an app for your smartphone that allows your friends and family to know if you are safe. The Red Cross has a hurricane app as do many for–profit organizations.
  • Assembling an emergency supply kit (water, flashlights, food, first–aid supplies, medication)
  • Creating a family emergency plan, making sure everyone knows what to do and when.

It’s also important that you prepare your home for heavy rainfall and strong winds by:

  • Cleaning up lawn debris and loose furniture or lawn items that will not be able to sustain strong winds
  • Securing loose rain gutters and ensure all gutters are clear from debris to keep water flowing and prevent further damage
  • Considering a FEMA safe room

Take the time to read more about how you can plan and prepare for Hurricane Irma. Please continue to follow our 2017 Hurricane Help blog series, bringing you important information you need to get help.

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