The National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting that 2021 will see between 13-20 named storms, with 7 turning into potentially dangerous hurricanes. Hurricane Season runs from June to November, with the greatest activity typically in late August and September.
It's not too late to take steps to prepare your home and family to ride out hurricanes or high wind storms!.
Get Ready, Get Set
Over the last 30 years, NOAA has reported that the Atlantic Hurricane Season is experiencing a higher number of named storms, and a greater severity of those storms. The two chief issues that result in property damage claims are flooding and wind damage from fallen trees and power lines. And you don't have to live on the coast to experience these. Damage is typically seen within 50 miles of the Atlantic.
It's time to assess the potential damage that could occur and take steps to minimize the risk. If you have trees that are overhanging your roof or growing close to the house, deck or garage, now would be the time to have these trimmed back or removed entirely by a licensed professional. If you have trees you suspect might be diseased or weakened by the drought we're experiencing, you can consult an arborist for an analysis.
Another thing to consider. How will you protect your automobiles, RVs, and boats from storm damage? Do you have a safe place to store them during the storm?
You will also want to consider making some common-sense improvements to strengthen your home as well.
- A sump pump with automatic sensors can help protect items stored in your basement from water damage.
- Consider upgrading your garage door. Typically, this is the weakest point in your home.
- Have some plywood on hand, pre-cut to cover large windows and patio doors. With the shortage of building materials and high cost of all construction materials, you don't want to be scrambling at the last minute.
- Check your locks on the doors to make sure they will hold against hurricane force winds.
- If you have a generator, you may want to check out that it is in running order and have fuel on hand to be able to run it. You may want to remove any old fuel and replace it with new ethanol-free gasoline.
For more information on how to prepare your home, go to weather.gov
Review your insurance coverage
Once the National Weather Service issues a hurricane warning, it is too late to change your insurance coverages. The insurance companies have a policy that they will accept no new requests for coverage or changes to existing policies until after the storm warning is rescinded.
Most people do not realize that Standard Homeowners Policies don't cover flood damage. For that, you have to purchase National Flood Insurance. And there is a 60 days waiting period for the coverage to go into effect. If you are interested in adding flood coverage, please call our office.
If you have been thinking that you may need to have a comprehensive review of your coverages, we'll be glad to help. Considering that the cost of construction materials has more than doubled in the past year, and that building codes change all the time, You don't want any unpleasant surprises if you have a claim.
And should you have to evacuate, it is a good idea to have a "go bag" prepared with all your important papers, family records, medications and insurance policies to take with you. Having these in hand, will greatly facilitate filing your claims.
What goes in your kit
The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) is well known for responding to disaster situations such as hurricanes and floods. FEMA recommends that you have up to a 7 day supply of non-perishable food (canned and dried) and water (1 gallon per person per day) on hand during hurricane season. If you have pets, be sure to have food for them as well. If you have small children, infant formula and diapers are a must.
In addition, they suggest:
- Extra cell phone battery or charger
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio that can receive NOAA Weather Radio tone alerts and extra batteries
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Non-sparking wrench or pliers to turn off utilities • Can opener (if kit contains canned food)
- Local maps and locations of evacuation shelters
For a more comprehensive preparedness list, visit the FEMA site.
For over 100 years, we've been here for our clients when they need us the most.
When you experience a loss, the "intangible" promises in your auto or homeowner policy suddenly become very tangible! We understand the need for sensitive treatment and fast action. Fair and prompt payment of a loss settlement is our immediate goal.
This is the trust you placed in us when you chose the Keefe Insurance Agency. Maintaining your trust in these trying circumstances is a responsibility we take very seriously. Your complete satisfaction, if and when you have a claim, is our number one priority.
Bob Keras & Peter Brunelli
The Town of Franklin has its own Emergency Information page on the town web site. It will contain local storm related info on power outages, closed roads, local shelters, etc. This can be a valuable resource to keep you informed during a hurricane emergency.