It’s Hurricane Season: Be Prepared!
One major storm event can change your life drastically. Being prepared and informed is key. There are many important factors that homeowners and commercial property owners need to know to be prepared for hurricane season. Breaking down these points in a step by step system can better assist you in getting your belongings and property insured accurately in the event of a hurricane or major storm damage event.
According to the National Weather Service, hurricanes and tropical cyclones are among nature’s most powerful and destructive storm events. If you live in an area prone to hurricanes and tropical cyclones, you need to be prepared. While coastal areas face the destruction from hurricanes, inland areas can also receive heavy rain that leads to flooding, high winds and tornadoes after the storm makes landfall.
Hurricane and tropical storm damage comes in many forms, including heavy rainfall that can cause severe flooding; heavy storm surge from floods that can extend inland; high winds with strengths that can blow down entire buildings, roofs, trees and literally destroy everything in its path. In 1992, Hurricane Andrew struck Miami and was the most costly natural disaster to hit a United States city, causing $30B in damage.
Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30. Know what actions to take before, during, and after a hurricane to protect your life, family, property, and belongings.
Hurricanes are classified into five categories, based on their wind speeds and potential to cause damage.
- Category 1: Winds 74-95 miles per hour
- Category 2: Winds 96-110 miles per hour
- Category 3: Winds 111-130 miles per hour
- Category 4: Winds 131-155 miles per hour
- Category 5: Winds greater than 155 miles per hour
The National Weather Service located in Miami issues hurricane watches and warnings, but it is up to you to be prepared before a hurricane or tropical cyclone hits.
Protect Your Investment: Get An Assessment!
Each year before hurricane season, it’s important to have your property assessed, inside and out. Below are two very important tasks that property owners often forget to do.
- Assess your Belongings! Whether you are a home or a business, go through your property; take pictures of all of your belongings. This will help you receive fair and accurate insurance claim processing and valuation in the event of hurricane and storm damage loss.
- Assess your Property! It’s important to get your property assessed every year, so that in the event of a partial or total loss, you are covered and reimbursed fairly and accurately through your insurance company.
In many unfortunate cases, we have worked with homeowners and commercial property owners who haven’t had a property assessment in 10 years, which can cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars of undervalued property in the event of major damage or loss. They also didn’t take the time to assess their belongings, follow insurance protocol for fair replacement.
Tips to Prepare for a Hurricane or Tropical Storm
- Plan Ahead! The Florida Division of Emergency Management provides an online tool to help your home or business build your Emergency Preparedness plan.
- Stock up! Stock your property with a disaster supply kit. This kit should include enough food and water for each member in your property to survive at least three days. It should also include a supply of cash on hand as the banks and ATM machines may not be functional following the storm temporarily. Also, ensure that you fill up your car with gas, as the gas stations may be temporarily closed as well.
- Safeguard! Protect any valuable documents. This can be accomplished by keeping them in a room in the home that is the most disaster resistant, or placing the items in a secure safe.
- Tune In! Make sure you have a NOAA weather radio to keep up to date with the changing weather conditions.
- Stay Connected! You should also keep connected with your family, neighbors, co-workers, staff members so you can be aware of each other’s whereabouts. This will also help you identify any elderly people or those with special needs who require further assistance.
- Be Aware! Know the difference between a WATCH and WARNING so you can prepare accordingly.
- The National Weather Service (NWS) provides weather, water, and climate data, forecasts and warnings for the protection of life and property. The National Hurricane Center (NHC)helps to mitigate property loss, save lives and improve economic efficiency by issuing watches, warnings, forecasts, and analyses of hazardous tropical weather and by increasing understanding of these hazards.
- The National Hurricane Center issues a Hurricane Watch if a hurricane is possible within 36 hours. Hurricane Watch status means they are tracking the storm and trying to predict where it may come ashore. Area residents should stay tuned to the radio and television for more information.The National Hurricane Center issues a Hurricane Warning if a hurricane is possible within 24 hours. This means that people may be told to evacuate. People in the area should begin making preparation to leave.
When Disaster Strikes: Execute Your Plan
- If a Hurricane Watch or Hurricane Warning is issued, decide if you need to evacuate. If so, make sure you know the proper evacuation routes.
- If you are able to stay in your home, prepare your property by boarding up windows, glass doors, and gathering any outside objects which can become potential projectile threats when the storm hits.
- Do not use any candles or open flames as a source of light because there may be damaged gas lines in your home or outside and this can cause a potential threat of explosion.
- As the storm approaches, gather your family, residents, staff members into a safe room. This entails a room with no windows. If you do not have a room without windows, you should board any windows in the room as securely as possible, and also get as far away from the windows as possible.
- When the storm has ended, watch out for any downed power lines in your area. These are live wires that should never be handled by anyone other than utility company employees.
- Finally, listen to your local officials for guidance on what steps you should be taking to best make it through the storm.
It is extremely important to plan ahead to protect your life and property in the event a hurricane strikes. A storm event is devastating enough. Plan ahead to mitigate further loss and damage.
With over 20 years of experience in storm damage repairs and hurricane disaster recovery, Venture Construction Group of Florida specializes in commercial and residential hail damage repairs, wind damage repairs, water damage repairs, and hurricane disaster recovery repairs throughout Florida to get property owners back to pre-storm condition. Venture Construction Group of Florida is an exclusive Certified National Storm Damage Center (NSDC) Preferred Contractor. The NSDC certification brings a level of education, information and resources to property owners after major storms hit. Venture Construction Group of Florida is vetted and certified through Global Risk Management Solutions (GRMS), the renowned leader in providing contractor-screening solutions. Venture Construction Group of Florida has an expert team of HAAG Engineering residential and commercial certified inspectors trained to assess hail damage, wind damage, hurricane damage and disaster recovery experts to restore your property with top-grade materials, unrivaled expertise, and excellent workmanship.