Preparing for Hurricane Florence
Hurricane Florence is projected to reach the coast of North Carolina as early as Thursday evening on September 13, 2018. It is never too early to begin planning for your safety, so here are steps you can take to ensure you are well-prepared before, during, and after this latest storm hits our shores.
First and foremost, assemble an emergency kit to prepare for power outages and closed roads. Be sure to head to the grocery stores early to stock up on essentials such as water, non-perishable food, medical supplies, a first aid kit, and flashlights. It may also be necessary to secure all official personal identification documents so they do not get damaged or lost in the storm.
If your home is not equipped with storm shutters, a cheaper alternative is attaching plywood over the windows to protect your windows from shattering in Florence’s projected Category 4 winds. Untethered outdoor items, such as patio furniture and gardening tools, should be stored inside unless it is unsafe to do so, as in the case of combustibles like propane or lighter fluid.
The best thing you can do to be prepared for a hurricane, however, is to simply have a plan. Familiarize yourself with local evacuation plans and shelters, as well as places to avoid that may be at lower ground or near bodies of water. It is important to avoid swimming in flood waters if possible, as there may be unseen contaminants or debris, making an escape through water more dangerous than staying in a shelter.
It is important to listen to any directives or instructions that authorities distribute to your community throughout the week. Following the instructions of local officials may ultimately be a life-saving decision for you and your family.
After the flood waters have subsided, however, your work may not be done. You should know the details of your flood insurance coverage so you can determine how any physical damage from Hurricane Florence will affect your finances and living situation.
Those who have purchased a flood insurance policy recently should remember it takes 30 days after the initial purchase for it to take effect. To get coverage for any damaged property, take inventory of your belongings before the storm and take pictures of any property damage after the storm. Since your policy may not cover living expenses, important papers, and items in below-ground areas, be sure to plan accordingly. If there is flood damage to your home and you are unsure of what is covered, the best thing to do is to contact your policy provider directly.
By following these quick steps, you can be better prepared for the coming storm and its aftermath. These actions are of the utmost importance in securing you and your family’s safety and well-being.