The Atlantic hurricane season began June 1, and whether you’re a hurricane veteran or a newcomer to the state of Florida, now is the time to ready your home and family for the 2023 hurricane season. Here is some information to help.
The biggest risks a Florida homeowner faces from a hurricane are storm surge, flooding, and wind damage.
Experts emphasize that the deadliest hurricane risk is that of storm surge. A storm doesn’t have to be a monster like Hurricane Ian to be deadly and damaging. Storm surge from even a category 1 or 2 hurricane can be life-threatening. It takes only six inches of fast-moving water to knock down an adult, and only two feet to wash away a vehicle.
Even if you don’t live right on the water, during a hurricane, your home may still be at risk for flooding. Flood damage is not covered under a standard home insurance policy, so you’ll need a separate flood policy. Remember, flood insurance often requires a waiting period before coverage goes into effect, so don’t wait until a storm is bearing down on you to call for a policy. (If you need a flood insurance quote, click here.)
Both on the coast and inland, high winds from hurricanes (or tornados spawned by a hurricane), can cause wind damage your home.
Before the storm season starts in earnest, take some time to review or prepare your plan to survive a hurricane. Some basics include (see below for links to detailed hurricane preparation guides):
Have a communication plan for your family. How will you get in touch with each other if you’re not together when a storm hits?
Understand the terminology of hurricane watches and warnings, and learn your evacuation route(s) if you’re in an evacuation zone.
Prepare your home. Trim trees and shrubs; make necessary repairs to your roof, windows or doors; and purchase storm shutters or cut plywood to fit windows.
Keep your vehicle gas tanks at least half full. Pumps won’t work if the power goes out.
Review your insurance coverage. Homeowners insurance covers damage from hurricanes, but there is a special deductible that applies only to hurricanes. This deductible is usually a percentage of your home’s insured value rather than a flat dollar amount. Review your policy and make sure you have money put aside to pay your deductible if you have to make a claim.
Prepare for a power outage. Have some cash on hand, stock up on ice if you’ll need to put perishables in an ice chest, charge electronics and portable power sources, and if you have a generator, make sure it’s in good operating order.
Connect with your neighbors before and after a storm, especially if they are elderly.
Check and update/replenish your emergency supplies and/or “go kits.”
Download the FEMA app. While you’re at it, you might also check that you have any apps for your bank and insurance companies downloaded to your phone. Also save the phone numbers for your insurance companies (home and auto) and your insurance agent’s phone number in a safe place, along with your insurance policy numbers.
(Own a business? Click here to learn how to preparing your business for a hurricane.)
Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare for a hurricane. Spending a little time now could prove life-saving later.
Turn to Lakewood Financial for all your insurance needs
Lakewood Financial is your source for all types of insurance, both personal and commercial. If you need homeowners insurance, flood insurance, or business insurance, please give a Lakewood Financial agent a call at 941-747-4600, or click here to contact us online.
For more information:
Manatee County Disaster Planning Guide