Although it seems like spring JUST arrived (well, in some places it did), the last thing we want to do is rush it by looking ahead to summer. But, if Mother Nature continues her streak of extreme weather this year, it’s wise to start considering the potential for hurricanes. And as 2015 marks the tenth anniversary of Katrina, one of the country’s costliest and deadliest hurricanes, it’s a sobering reminder that we all should be prepared for unexpected severe weather.
- Communication is key, so have a Family Emergency Plan. This is a good strategy not just for hurricanes, but extreme weather in general. Make sure family members know how to reconnect after a storm. Children should be trained on how to call 911 for help and should memorize the number of a trusted out-of-state family member or friend to contact if necessary. Be sure each family member knows the phone number of that contact as well.
- Along with communication preparation, physical preparation is imperative. To ensure you’re well-prepared for a severe storm, consider making an emergency supply kit equipped with at least the following:
- Three days’ supply of basic food, water and clothing
- Flashlights, weather radio, and fresh batteries
- Any necessary prescription medications
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account information in waterproof, portable bags
- Extra cash
- First aid kit
Visit FEMA’s website for additional comments
Be prepared for an evacuation
- Identify meeting places both within and outside your city or town
- Listen and watch for instructions from the authorities on safe escape routes to established shelters (Pro tip: The American Red Cross provides a list of shelters nationwide that’s updated every thirty minutes)
- If you have a car, fill up the gas tank before a storm in case of an immediate evacuation
- Identify multiple ‘escape’ routes out of your area in the event there are road hazards, such as flooded streets, washed out bridges or downed power lines
- If time permits, secure your home by unplugging all appliances and locking your windows and doors
As is the case with all extreme weather conditions, the best way to be prepared is to have a plan. Let’s hope for a mild summer, but also be aware of the realities of weather and ready ourselves for the unexpected.
Headquartered in Boston, Bunker Hill Insurance provides home insurance to customers in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Bunker Hill is a member of The Plymouth Rock Group of Companies, which together write and manage over $1 billion in homeowners and auto insurance throughout the northeast.