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May 2019 Tip of the Month: Hurricane Preparedness

Tip of the Month IconWith the official start of hurricane season on June 1, you might be surprised to learn that half of the population in the U.S. resides in states that are most threatened by hurricanes. If you live in an area of high risk there are steps you can take to get ready and minimize the damage to you and your property. To begin planning, we suggest that you use the National Weather Service Hurricane Preparedness Week information, along with CERF+’s Studio Protector tips, to get Hurricane Ready!

1. Determine Your Hurricane Risk

  • Find out what types of wind and water hazards to expect and start preparing yourself and your property.
  • Hurricanes are not just a coastal problem; their impacts can be felt hundreds of miles inland (CERF+ whose home office is in Montpelier, Vermont, certainly experienced this with Hurricane Irene), and significant impacts can occur even with smaller storms.

For information about hurricanes/hurricane response in your area see:

2. Develop an Evacuation Plan

  • First, determine if your home or studio is in a storm surge hurricane evacuation zone or if either structure would be unsafe during a hurricane. If so, figure out where you’d go and how you’d get there if you need to evacuate.
  • You do not need to travel hundreds of miles. Identify someone, perhaps a friend or relative who doesn’t live in an evacuation zone or an unsafe home, and ask them if you can use their home as your evacuation destination.
  • Be sure to account for your pets, as most local shelters do not permit them.

For more evacuation planning resources, see:

3. Assemble Disaster Supplies

  • Get enough non-perishable food, water, and medicine to last each person in your family a minimum of three days. You will need enough to get you through the storm and to sustain you until basic services are restored.
  • You’ll need extra cash, a battery-powered radio, and flashlights.
  • Consider purchasing a portable crank or solar-powered charger for cell phones and other small electronic devices.

For more information about preparing for a hurricane see:

4. Get an Insurance Checkup

  • Call your insurance company or agent and ask for an insurance check-up to make sure you have enough homeowners insurance and business insurance. Don’t forget coverage for your car or boat.
  • Remember that 99.9% of the time, standard homeowners insurance will not cover losses or liability for your home-based studio.
  • Remember also, standard homeowners’ insurance doesn’t cover flooding or your business assets. Whether you rent or own your home or studio, you’ll need a separate policy for flood coverage, which can be purchased through your insurance company, agent, or the National Flood Insurance Program at floodsmart.gov.
  • It’s important to act as soon as possible because flood insurance requires a 30-day waiting period!

For more information about insurance preparation for a hurricane see:

5. Strengthen Your Home

  • If you plan to ride out the storm in your home or studio, make sure it is in good repair and up to local hurricane building code specifications. Many of these retrofits do not cost much or take as long to do as you may think. (note: if there is a call to evacuate, evacuate!)
  • Be sure to have the proper plywood, steel, or aluminum panels to board up windows and doors.
  • Remember, the garage door is the most vulnerable part of the structure, so it must be able to withstand high winds.

For more information about preparing for a hurricane see:

6. Help Your Neighbor

Many people rely on their neighbors after a disaster, but there are also many ways you can help your neighbors before a hurricane approaches. Start the conversation today with these Neighbor Helping Neighbor strategies

7. Create a Written Plan

The time to prepare for a hurricane is before the season begins. If you wait until a hurricane is on your doorstep, the odds are that you will be under stress and could make the wrong decisions.

  • Know where you will ride out the storm and get your supplies now. You don’t want to be standing in long lines when a hurricane warning is issued.
  • Being prepared before a hurricane hits could mean the difference between being a hurricane victim or a hurricane survivor.

Take the time now to write down your hurricane plan. Here are some helpful resources:

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