Top priority for economic preparations as hurricane season approaches
“We are particularly focused on cost-cutting strategies to help families this year so they can prepare for extraordinary events like hurricanes while managing ordinary expenses,” said the president and CEO of FLASH. Leslie Chapman-Henderson. “The good news is that one of the most effective ways to overcome expensive last-minute options is to start the process today. Free, inexpensive, homemade preparations are at your fingertips, especially when you’re dividing expenditure over time.
Free and inexpensive ($50) steps include the examples below:
- FREE – Know Your Evacuation Zone
Determine if you can shelter in place safely at home or if you live in a storm surge evacuation zone or other high-risk location. Find your evacuation zone using the online list here and identify an emergency site with your family or friends to avoid overcrowding in shelters. Monitor local news and heed evacuation orders when hurricane watches and warnings occur.
- FREE – Create an emergency plan
Gather your family and make plans to make sure you know where to meet and how you will communicate in the event of an emergency. Meet household needs, especially for the elderly and pets. Identify a family meeting place near and far from home, designate out-of-state emergency contacts, and put your plans into practice by hosting a family drill.
- BELOW $50 – Build Disaster Supply Kit
Gather and stockpile the supplies you’ll need to spread the costs over time. Keep water and non-perishable foods like peanut butter and jelly available and replenished in the event of a power outage. Use this checklist to make sure you have everything you might need, including money, flashlights, medicine, and tarps.
- FREE – Strengthen your home
Research the building code followed to build your home on Inspect2Protect.org and get reinforcement recommendations based on your home’s age, location, and practices in the year of construction. Recommendations are categorized by both impact and cost and include DIY options. Follow this checklist if you don’t have hurricane shutters or shatterproof windows. Start securing your supplies now to avoid last-minute shortages and spread emergency boarding costs over time.
- BELOW $50 – Soffits are horizontal surfaces below the eaves of your roof that help resist wind and keep water out of your attic. They can allow wind-driven rain to cause catastrophic and costly water damage when they blow. Use caulk and follow the DIY steps in this checklist to reinforce soffits and ensure they stay put in hurricane winds.
- FREE – Get your insurance checked
Contact your insurance company or agent today and review your insurance coverages to avoid costly surprises if a hurricane damages your home. Ask all the questions outlined in this checklist and be sure to discuss flood insurance. Make sure you understand all deductibles, co-payments and no-deductible coverage, such as food spoilage coverage, to maximize your policy’s benefits. Remember that flood insurance has a 30 day waiting period. You cannot purchase it or any new insurance once hurricane watches and warnings occur.
- FREE – Create an Insurance Home Inventory
Follow the steps in this checklist to create or update your home inventory, and you’ll have what you need to make a complete hurricane insurance claim. Current and detailed written, photographic or video proof of your home’s contents and assets with date of purchase, price and serial number will make the process more efficient. This will save you time and also reduce stress after the storm.
5. A SERVICE
- FREE – Help your neighbor and your community
Once you and your family are prepared, you can help family members or friends who are particularly vulnerable and need help preparing for, surviving and recovering from hurricanes. Your act of service can be as simple as helping an elderly neighbor install shutters or contacting loved ones or more formal with CPR or other required training. If you need help finding a volunteer opportunity, contact your local or national voluntary organizations active in disasters (VOAD) at www.nvoad.org.
Visit the free online #HurricaneStrong Preparedness Center to learn more, download checklists or contact an expert.
the National Hurricane Resilience Initiative – #HurricaneStrong is an award-winning collaboration created in 2016 to save lives and homes through public awareness and education. The effort offers information through special events, partnerships with news media, outreach in schools and through social media.
The nonprofit Federal Safe Homes Alliance (FLASH) is the nation’s leading consumer advocate for strengthening homes and protecting families from disaster. The FLASH Partnership includes more than 100 innovative and diverse organizations that share the vision of making America a more disaster-resilient nation, including FEMA, Florida Division of Emergency Management, Huber Engineered Woods, International Code Council, ISO – Verisk Analytics, MyRadar, National Weather Service, Renew Financial, Simpson Strong-Tie, State Farm and USAA. In 2008, FLASH and Disney opened the interactive weather experience StormStruck: A Tale of Two Homes in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. FLASH No Code signature program. No trust. – Inspect2Protect.org provides consumers with a one-of-a-kind building code transparency tool to easily identify the building code in their community. Learn more about FLASH and access free consumer resources by visiting www.flash.org and www.Inspect2Protect.org, calling toll-free (877) 221-SAFE (7233), following @federalalliance on Twitter and Facebook.com/federalalliance.
SOURCE Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)