After 2017’s Hurricane Irma impacted nearly the entire state of Florida, most of us in the Bradenton and Sarasota areas are taking hurricane preparations seriously this year. Hurricane experts have already indicated that the 2018 hurricane season should have slightly above-average activity and probability that a major hurricane will make landfall along the continental United States.
Don’t wait until the last minute to be ready. Here are five things to do NOW to prepare before a hurricane blows your way:
- Inspect your home and yard. Now is the time to make any necessary repairs to your roof (if you replace your roof, be sure to get a wind mitigation report—it could save you money on your homeowners insurance), cut down dead tree limbs, or buy any necessary storm shutters, plywood, or braces for your garage door. Also make note of any lawn furniture, children’s play equipment, or potted plants that might need to be moved so a hurricane’s high winds don’t turn them into flying hazards.
- Check evacuation and flood zones (they aren’t the same). If you live in an evacuation zone, familiarize yourself with the route, and make plans now for where you’ll go. If you don’t have to evacuate, consider offering friends or family who must evacuate a place to stay. Tip: Keep your vehicles gassed up during hurricane season, just in case you need to get out of town quickly.
- Create or update your Disaster Supply Kit. Make sure you have plenty of medicines, food, water, batteries, pet supplies, and other crucial items on hand—at least enough for seven days. Include a portable NOAA radio, and if you have a landline, a corded phone (portable cordless phones won’t work if there’s a power outage). Click here for a full description of what your Disaster Supply Kit should contain, or visit Manatee County’s Hurricane Preparedness Page (see link below). Note: Starting June 1, there will be a one-week tax holiday on the purchase of all emergency supplies.
- Collect copies of important documents, such as driver’s licenses, and insurance policies, and make sure you have your insurance agent’s contact information. Take pictures of your home and belongings if you haven’t already done a full home inventory, and store those pictures someplace that won’t be affected by the storm, either online or with a friend or family member outside of Florida.
- Review your insurance policies. What is your hurricane deductible? Do you have flood insurance? Standard homeowners policies do not come with flood coverage, but flood insurance is more affordable than ever, so you might want to look into buying it.
Don’t let a hurricane catch you unprepared. Take time now to prepare your home and your family for any coming storms. And remember, Lakewood Financial is here to help you. Please contact us if you have any questions about hurricane or flood coverage.
For more information, please visit:
Printable disaster kit checklists:
Download the FEMA app