By: Ron Haynes
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Hurricane Preparedness Checklist
GET PREPARED FOR THE NEXT HURRICANE
In honor of Hurricane Preparedness Week, the following is a checklist of things we recommend before a hurricane hits:
Checklist Before the Storm
A. Evacuation Plan:
If you are in an evacuation zone, determine where you should go ahead of time. Even if you are staying to ride out the storm, you should have a backup shelter plan. Go to www.redcross.org for a list of open shelters in your area or download the app which will show you a map of open shelters near you. It is also a good idea to have a family communication plan with contact information for each member. Designate meeting places ahead of time.
Make a list of necessary medications, health insurance id numbers, known allergies and any other medical information necessary.
C. Financial Information:
It’s a good idea to have the following financial information with you:
-property insurance policy number and correct phone numbers to call in claims
-auto insurance information
-health insurance information
-life insurance information
-flood insurance information
-a copy of bank and/or credit card statements
-retirement account information
-investment account information
-checking account/savings account numbers
-a copy of the previous year’s income tax return
-any information for government benefits you receive
D. Other Important Document:
Make copies of important documents
-social security cards
-power of attorney
-health care surrogate
E. Insurance Policies
Place copies of your insurance policies in a safe place like a safe deposit box or safe, along with your other important documents. It is also a good idea to place them in water proof containers if you are keeping them in the house. If you are evacuating, bring these documents with you.
F. Video Tape Contents
It is a great idea to take a video of the inside of your home. Many times, if the hurricane does damage to your home and its interior, you will be required to make list of your contents. It can be very difficult to remember everything you had in the house but a video can be a very effective tool to jog your memory or even to give a copy to the insurance company to prove what you do have. If you are evacuating, I would suggest taking this video with you or storing it in a very secure location. If you can’t make a video, you can download a Homeowners’ Insurance kit that has a sample inventory list in it at www.myfloridacfo.com.
G. Gather supplies if you are staying
-formula, diapers, medications, blankets, breast pump for a baby
-disposable plates, cups and utensils
-drinking water – a least one gallon per person per day
-water purification tablets
-first aid kit
-wet and cold clothing
-plastic trash bags
-paper and pencil
-tape – masking or duct tape
-nails and screws
-gas chain saw
-pillows, blankets, sleeping bags
-personal hygiene items
If you have pets, make advanced plans for them. Not all shelters or hotels will allow animals. If you have to leave your animals, try to leave at least a three day supply of food and water.
I. Board Up
Hurricane shutters, storm panels or plywood to board up the house.
-count and measure each window and door that has glass. Sheets of plywood are typically 4’ by 8’. It is best to use 5/8 inch or greater exterior grade plywood if you can get it.
-you will need a circular saw, drill and drill bits
-you will need bolts, wood or masonry anchors, or screws depending on what material you are securing the boards into
-drill the holes in the same diameter as the bolts or screws you are using 2 inches from the edges of the plywood at each corner
-hold the panels up and mount them to the house.
It is a good idea to have cash on hand. If the electricity goes out, ATMs won’t work and banks may not be able to restock ATMs that quickly when the power turns back on.
If you have a propane grill, you may need that for cooking if the electricity goes out so make sure you fill your propane tanks. If you have waited to late you can use apps to find gas stations like Gasbuddy.
Don’t forget your boat of you own one.
-get surplus fire hose, cut it and use it on mooring lines as chafing gear.
-put the boat in hurricane rated dry storage
-if the boat is in a slip, anticipate that at least one cleat, piling or line will fail so give each line a mate running in the same direction but attached in different places. To counter rising and falling storm tides, by pass the closest cleat and favor of one farther away.
-hang as many fenders as you can
-if your boat is on a trailer, place wooden blocks underneath the trailer frame on either side of the wheels and then deflate the tires. Put is as close to a strong building as you can. Tie the boat to the trailer then tie the trailer to ground anchors.
-If the boat is on a lift, lower the lift 2 feet, tie the boat as if it were in a slip, then raise the list to put tension on the lines.
Safety is always the most important. Things can be replaced but people can’t. Preparation is the key to making sure your family is safe. After the storm hits, if you have damage, call Christopher Ligori & Associates for free assistance or an evaluation of your claim. Here at Christopher Ligori & Associates, we don’t treat you like a number, we treat you like family.