As Hurricane Florence moves westward towards the Carolina’s, it is projecting to be one of the strongest storms to strike this part of the country in recorded history. This time, we in Atlantic Canada appear far enough away that we will not feel the full force of the weather that is coming with this category 4 hurricane.
Residents in the Carolinas and the mid-Atlantic are not so fortunate. They are being warned of destructive winds, storm surge, and potentially-disastrous flash flooding. Just because we escaped this one doesn’t mean we will always be so fortunate. We should be ready in case one of these hurricanes turns up the coast and heads for Atlantic Canada bringing with it similar devastation.
Here are our top 10 tips for making sure we are safe this hurricane season:
- Emergency safety kit. Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan. Contact Munn’s Insurance if you would like us to provide you with an emergency kit checklist or sample family communications plan.
- Secure your property. Make plans to secure your property. Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well-trimmed so they are more wind resistant. Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts. Bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down. Determine how and where to secure your boat or other recreational vehicles stored on or near your property. Turn off propane tanks.
- Food and water supply. Arrange for a supply of drinking water and food.; enough for three or four days. Keep a supply of water for sanitary purposes, such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other larger containers with water.
- Prepare for power failure. Install or purchase a portable generator for emergencies. Keep a supply of batteries and flashlights. Make sure your electronics are charged.
- Stay safe during the hurricane. Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors. Close all interior doors, and secure and brace external doors. Keep curtains and blinds closed. Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm and winds will pick up again. Take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest level. Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object. Avoid elevators.
- NEVER use a generator inside. This includes homes, garages, crawlspaces, sheds or similar areas, even when using fans or opening doors and windows for ventilation. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can quickly build up in these areas and can linger for hours, even after the generator has shut off.
- Stay safe after the hurricane. Continue listening to a radio or the local news for the latest updates. If you were evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.
- Be careful when you go out after the hurricane. If you must go out, watch for fallen objects including downed electrical wires, weakened walls, bridges, roads and sidewalks. Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
- Stay off the roads until it is safe. After the Hurricane, drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges. Stay off the streets.
- Post hurricane check. Walk carefully around the outside of your home and check for loose power lines, gas leaks and structural damage before entering. Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both the building and contents, for insurance purposes. If you have any doubts about safety, have your residence inspected by a qualified building inspector or structural engineer before entering.
Before the Hurricane hits, examine your home insurance or rental insurance policy to learn the details of how you will be covered (and what is excluded) in the event of a flood (click here for more information on overland water coverage)..
In addition to insuring your home, we are committed to helping you and your loved ones stay safe when disaster strikes. If you would like more information on developing a family emergency plan or building a disaster supply kit, please contact Munn Insurance at 855-726-8627 today.