As the 2020 hurricane season kicks off, the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging around the world. This year, it’s more important than ever to be prepared for the worst.
Know Your Risk
There’s no denying the appeal of a home on the beach – but when hurricane season rolls around, the risks can cast a shadow over the beautiful ocean views.
Both inland and coastal homes face hurricane risks. Find out the wind and water risk level in your location. Then take steps to protect your home and your family.
- Install storm shutters. If you don’t have storm shutters, be ready to secure windows with plywood. Also make sure doors, sliding glass doors and skylights are secure.
- Keep trees and shrubs trimmed. This will reduce the debris during a storm.
- Identify the safest room in your home. Ideally, this should be a central room on ground level with no windows, such as a bathroom or walk-in closet. It can serve as your shelter room if you don’t evacuate.
- Know how to secure your boat against an approaching storm. See Chubb’s list of 10 ways to prepare your boat for a hurricane.
- If a storm is approaching, bring outside items, such as patio furniture, toys and decorations, inside. Secure your windows.
- Listen to local orders and be prepared to evacuate. If you need to evacuate, unplug your appliances and turn off the gas, electricity and water before leaving if possible.
- See the CDC’s tips for preparing for a hurricane for more information.
- Make sure you have sufficient insurance to cover your home and other property against hurricanes and floods.
Stock up on Supplies
When a hurricane is approaching, it’s not uncommon for stores to run low on supplies because everyone is stocking up.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, however, stores have already been running low on certain supplies. We’ve seen shortages of masks, hand sanitizer, eggs, meat and other items. Many stores have implemented limits on what customers can buy.
Don’t wait until the last minute. Make sure you have a decent emergency supply of the food, water, medication and other items you’ll need. This doesn’t mean you should hoard a ridiculous amount of goods, leaving the shelves bare for the shoppers who come after you. Just take what you think you and your family will need.
See Ready.gov for detailed advice on what to include in your emergency kit.
Plan Your Evacuation
It’s always smart to have an evacuation plan ready to go. This should include where your family will go if there’s an emergency and how your family will communicate if individuals get separated. You also want to make sure you have essential items and documents ready to go, and you should make sure your plans include any pets you have.
The current pandemic makes these plans even more important. Although states have started reopening, they may close again if new outbreaks emerge. Crowded shelters may become a vector for disease, and people who or older or have underlying health conditions may be especially vulnerable.
Think about where your family will go if you have to evacuate, and how you will protect yourselves if there’s a COVID-19 outbreak in your area. Keep in mind that the emergency shelter plans in your area may be different this year because of the pandemic. Check for current information. Also make sure you’re including cloth face coverings and disinfectants in your emergency supplies.
Finally, be sure your personal insurance and umbrella policies are up to date, with adequate limits. Contact the personal insurance team at BNC Insurance for insurance review anytime – we’re here to help!