The transition from summer to autumn signals the peak of hurricane season. If you live in a coastal area, you could be affected by a hurricane; a massive storm system that forms over warm ocean waters before moving toward land. Potential dangers of hurricanes include heavy rainfall, powerful winds, flooding, rip currents, and even landslides.
How to prepare for a hurricane
It’s very important to know your area’s risk of hurricanes. If you live somewhere with a moderate to high risk, sign up for your community’s warning system so you will be alerted immediately if a hurricane threat arises. You can also download the FEMA mobile app to receive alerts, safety reminders, and shelter information in the event a hurricane strikes. Based on your location, formulate an emergency evacuation and/or shelter plan and get familiar with your plan by practicing.
Other things you can do to prepare for a hurricane are:
- Keep at least 3 days’ worth of supplies on hand, including any necessary medication, food, and water.
- Prepare an emergency bag so you are ready to leave at a moment’s notice.
- If you have pets, make sure you have a plan to keep them safe.
- Ensure all important documents are in a safe place or digitized.
- Review your insurance policies so you know when you are and are not protected.
What to do if a hurricane strikes
When a hurricane hits, stay indoors. If you are instructed to turn off your power and water mains, go ahead and do so. If you encounter flood waters, avoid them because they may by contaminated with sewage. Stay up-to-date by listening to your local area radio.
If you are outdoors, do not attempt to walk or swim through floodwaters. It only takes 2 feet to float your car, so do not attempt to drive through any standing water. If you are instructed to evacuate, evacuate.
Things to do after a hurricane
If you have evacuated, wait until you receive the OK from the authorities before returning to your home. Continue monitoring your local news and remain alert as extended rainfall and subsequent flooding could still occur. Avoid drinking tap water until you are sure it is free of contaminants and be sure to photograph any damage to your property. If you have been affected by a hurricane, there are resources that may be able to help.
For more information about to prepare for hurricane season, head over to ready.gov/hurricanes. If your vehicle or property are damaged by a hurricane, contact your insurance company as soon as possible to begin a claim. If you are covered by SafeAuto, you can reach us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 1-800-SAFEAUTO (1-800-723-3288).