As your dedicated insurance agent, we are compelled to discuss an aspect of our lives here in Florida that we often prefer not to think about: our seasonal weather extremes. Each year, our beautiful state, faces the potential of hurricanes, tornadoes, hailstorms, and extreme flooding. Your insurance policies provide a safety net in these times, but there are other steps that can be taken to ensure your family and property’s safety when the inevitable storms roll in. Remember, my team and I are always here to answer your queries or provide guidance – do not hesitate to reach out to us.
Living in Florida, storm preparedness becomes second nature. Here are some fundamental pointers to enhance your readiness:
- Understanding the Elevation of Your Property: Knowing your home’s elevation level can significantly help in flood preparedness. Even though it may not be possible to avert flood damage completely, understanding this can assist in safeguarding precious, irreplaceable items. Visit FloodTools.com for practical tips on flood planning.
- Identifying Shelter Locations: It is prudent to have a well-thought-out plan for where to take shelter when a storm strikes. Open areas and even cars may not offer adequate safety. Basements, lower floors of buildings, or underneath stairwells can serve as safe havens.
- Familiarity with Evacuation Routes: Local authorities usually share evacuation route information through various media outlets during emergencies. However, it’s beneficial to acquaint yourself with these paths ahead of time. They are typically available online for your perusal.
- Securing Your Vehicle: If circumstances force you to leave your vehicle behind while evacuating, ensure it’s parked indoors or on higher ground, away from potential hazards like falling debris. Keep a tarp and waterproof tape handy to protect your vehicle’s windows and doors.
- Recognizing Storm Signs: Familiarize yourself with signs of impending severe weather, such as a dark, possibly greenish sky, large hailstones, and low-lying clouds for tornadoes, or increasing ocean swells, wave frequency, and persistent rainfall in the case of a hurricane.
Additionally, there are practical steps you can take for readiness:
- Maintaining a Ready Supply of Fuel: Always keep your vehicle’s gas tank at least half full. Gas stations may close during emergencies, and power outages can render the pumps non-functional.
- Managing Your Landscape: Well-trimmed trees and shrubs are more resistant to high winds, thus reducing the risk of damage from flying debris during a storm.
- Preparation for Window Protection: While storm shutters offer the best protection, 5/8 inch marine plywood can serve as an efficient alternative if necessary. Pre-cut these boards and keep them readily available. For instructions on proper boarding, visit this website.
- Assembling an Emergency Kit: As help may be delayed during a severe storm, ensure you have sufficient food, water, and essential supplies to sustain your family for at least 72 hours.
We live in an era of abundant digital resources – let these be your allies in storm preparation. Websites such as Ready.gov offer valuable guidance to increase your readiness for storm-related scenarios. Numerous mobile apps can provide storm tracking services and additional preparation tips.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but it provides a solid foundation to initiate your storm preparedness planning. By expecting the unexpected and preparing in advance, we can better protect our loved ones and valuable assets. As always, my team and I are available to discuss any insurance questions or concerns you may have. Don’t hesitate to reach out – we’re here to support you.
Your safety is paramount.
Michael D’Avirro – CEO