Living (or owning property) in Texas comes with a wealth of great things. It also means preparing for active hurricane seasons.
The 2018 hurricane season officially began June 1 and continues through November 30. Within this six-month official season, the most active months for Texas hurricane activity are August and September.
It's never too late to prepare yourself, your property, and the things you cherish most in the event of a hurricane or tropical storm. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association predicts that the 2018 hurricane season will be at or above average and experts at the University of Houston report that Texas is being predicted to have a more-than-usual active hurricane season this year.
Even if a hurricane or tropical storm does not directly hit your area, you could still be affected by flooding and power outages. In fact, Accuweather reports that hurricane Ike knocked down power lines far beyond Texas and that "U.S. tropical cyclone deaths from 1970 to 1999 were caused by inland flooding", so we suggest you take the time now to be prepared for such events.
Prepare for the 2018 Hurricane Season
Prior to hurricane season, it's important to have a few things in place so you know you're ready.
An Emergency Preparedness Kit
Your Emergency Preparedness Kit may take up a little bit of space, but it need not take up a whole room. The purpose of this kit is to make sure that you are able to survive for at least three days. It should include:
- Water (experts suggest one gallon per person, per day, for three days)
- Three-day supply of food (non-perishable)
- First Aid Kit
- Battery-operated or hand-crank radio
- Whistle or flares for signaling for help
- Manual can-opener
- Plastic/Garbage bags
- Copies of personal documents/identification
- Extra batteries
- Extra phone chargers (there are also solar phone chargers available now that are relatively inexpensive)
- Personal hygiene items
- Specialty items such as those for babies, seniors, or pets and medications that may be needed.
- Evacuation plan (be sure you have gone over your evacuation plan so that all family members know what to do)
- Emergency Blanket
- Extra cash
- Rain gear
- Multi-purpose tool
Copies of Important Documents
Be sure to make copies of your important documents of family members to put away for safe keeping. We suggest using a water/fire-resistant lock box or a safety deposit box to protect them. You can make hard copies of them or scans or photos of them on a flash drive or memory card. Make sure to include:
- Birth records/SS Cards
- Driver's Licenses
- Insurance records
What to do in the Case of a Storm
- Go through your emergency preparedness kit. Ensure everything is useable and replace anything that needs to be replaced.
- Go over your evacuation plan with everyone in the household. This helps everyone - especially children - feel safe.
- Fill your vehicle's gas tank.
- Be sure you are able to access emergency radio broadcasts and stay informed.
- Secure all outdoor furniture and loose debris such as tools and garbage cans.
- Secure plywood over exposed windows or close storm shutters (use construction grade plywood if possible).
- Fill bathtubs, sinks and/or buckets with water.
Evacuate as Advised
It may be tempting to stay put - we all cherish our homes and the things in them - but we suggest following directives to leave. There are many reasons why people refuse to evacuate but the risk of loss of life or limb is not worth it. If emergency crews advise you to leave, be sure you take your emergency kit and leave as soon as possible.
Prepare Before Preparing
We hope the 2018 hurricane season spares you and your loved ones of any losses, but there is no accurate way to predict whether it will or not.
For this reason, remember that protecting your home and family begins with making sure you have the right coverage to get you back home and comfortable in the event of hurricane damage.
Considering that hurricane Harvey, for example, caused severe damages to the areas in and around his path but only 70 percent of damages from flooding were covered by homeowners insurance. We recommend going over your existing insurance policies to ensure you are covered.
FEMA reports that most homeowners' and renters' insurance policies do not cover flood damage but the costs of repairs can be devastating.
Before you are caught off guard and displaced due to flooding or hurricane damage, contact us today and discuss your insurance options. Together, we can ensure - along with all of these tips to stay safe and secure - your home and property are protected as well.