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How to Prepare for Hurricane Season

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What to do Immediately Before a Hurricane

  • You should evacuate under the following conditions:
    • If you are directed by local authorities to do so. Be sure to follow their instructions.
    • If you live near the sea, in flood prone areas, near a river, or on an inland waterway (ghut or drain).
    • If you do not believe your home is safe.
  • Unplug appliances and electronics to avoid damage caused by power surges when lines and power are restored.
  • Secure your home, close storm shutters, and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
  • Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
  • Turn off propane tanks.
  • Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water.
  • Monitor the radio or television for weather conditions and updates.
  • In order to conserve battery life, avoid using the phone, except for in serious emergencies.

What to do During a Hurricane

  • Stay away from all windows and exterior doors and seek shelter in a bathroom or basement. Bathtubs can provide some shelter if you cover yourself with plywood or other materials.
  • Close all interior doors and secure and brace external doors.
  • Keep curtains and blinds closed. Do not be fooled even if the storm appears to have subsided. The calm or the "eye" of the storm can pass quickly, leaving you outside when intense winds resume.
  • Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level of your home, provided it is not flooding.
  • In the event your roof becomes compromised, seek shelter in another enclosed area or on the floor under a table or another sturdy object provided the room is not flooding.
  • Tune in to your local radio station to listen for broadcasts and updated information on the hurricane.
  • Use only battery operated flashlights during a storm as the use of candles could cause a fire.

 

What to do After a Hurricane – The storm has passed. What do I do now?

  • Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Six to twelve inches of water can take you down or flood your car.
  • Avoid fallen, damaged or loose power lines and report them immediately to the local police, utility distribution company and fire department.
  • Take photographs of any damage incurred and notify your insurance provider of your claim and the damages you have sustained.
  • If flooding or water damage occurred, take photos and make a list. You can begin clean up and repairs as soon as possible thereafter, to avoid mold. Make sure to wear protective gear.
  • When power returns to your home, do not start all major appliances at once. Turn them on gradually to reduce damage to sensitive equipment.
  • Even if you have ventilation, never use a generator indoors. This includes garages, basements, and crawlspaces. Exhaust fumes contain high levels of carbon monoxide, which can be deadly if inhaled. Even when left outside, keep generators away from doors and windows and at least 10 feet away from your home. Also, allow your generator to cool off before refilling it with gas – splashing gas on hot generator components can lead to a fire.
  • Do not use electrical or gas appliances that have been wet, and do not turn on damaged appliances because of the hazards of electric shock or fire.
  • Take safety precautionary measures when preparing food and using water to protect your family from contamination. Example – Use bottled water for drinking or preparing food or boil tap water before using.
  • Stay away from flood waters as they can contain harmful contaminants and dangerous debris.

Learn More about What to expect after you file your claim