Hurricane Preparedness: Strengthen Your Home
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Hurricane Preparedness: Strengthen Your Home

Why Wait?

Take some stress away from the already stressful process of anticipating a tropical storm or hurricane. Get your home or business ready for a storm before it even gets here! You know living in Florida that we will at least get one storm per year (and that’s extremely conservative), so preparing for upcoming storms is definitely not a waste of time.

If you already have loose, hanging branches, unstable trees or trees that are very close to your roof, garage or pool… take care of them NOW! You don’t want to be on a ladder when the winds pick up trying to take care of your landscaping problems. Tree trimming companies will not be available due to demand and home improvement stores selling landscaping tools you might need will be jammed with people trying to buy last minute supplies. Take care of lawn needs in the weeks before a hurricane hits so you can do so in a stress-free environment!

Whether you decide to board up your windows with plywood, procure hurricane shutters or get impact glass on your windows… prepare for this today.

  • If choosing plywood: Go ahead and buy the amount of plywood you will need now before home improvement stores sell out before a storm. Make sure you have the necessary amount (if not extra) screws, bolts and power tools to put the plywood up when a storm comes. You will be thankful you have plywood when the home improvement stores no longer have plywood in stock!
  • If choosing hurricane shutters: Get quotes and have your hurricane shutters installed as soon as possible if you do not have them already. If you already have hurricane shutters, make sure you have the necessary screws and bolts to secure them to your windows or lock them.
  • If choosing impact glass: Get quotes and have your impact glass installed as soon as possible. Window companies will not install impact glass once a storm starts approaching.

Items such as:

  • patio furniture
  • lawn chairs
  • bird feeders
  • hanging plants
  • toys

will become flying hazards to not only your home but your neighbors home in the event of even the smallest hurricane. Take an inventory of your outdoor items, create a list so you can know exactly what you need to put away once a storm hits.

Take the time to inspect your doors prior to a storm approaching. Make sure all door frames are strong, repair any issues that might be present with doors and check locks so doors are ready to withstand the pressures hurricane winds.

If there isn’t space in your garage to store your car… now is the time to make space! You need to have a safe place to store your car in the event of a hurricane so you will have a reliable vehicle after the storm. Cleaning out a garage can be quite a time-consuming project and is not something to tackle with an impending storm. Get your garage organized today!

When it Comes to disasters...

We have 40 years experience and have seen it all. We put together this guide to help you serve your policyholders the best you can. We want you to be successful.  Reach us 772-567-4435 anytime of the day or night.

Hurricane Preparedness: Determine Your Risk
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Hurricane Preparedness: Determine Your Risk

when it comes to hurricanes, What are you at risk for?

It is important to remember, hurricanes are not just a coastal problem. The impact of hurricane force winds can be felt hundreds of miles inland, and significant impacts can occur without it being a major hurricane. Consider the following threats:

While storm surge is largely a coastal problem, it can also present it self along major lakes (like Lake Okeechobee). 

As defined by NOAA: “Storm surge is an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm, over and above the predicted astronomical tides. Storm surge should not be confused with storm tide, which is defined as the water level rise due to the combination of storm surge and the astronomical tide. This rise in water level can cause extreme flooding in coastal areas particularly when storm surge coincides with normal high tide, resulting in storm tides reaching up to 20 feet or more in some cases.”

Consider these facts!

  • From 1990-2008, population density increased by 32% in Gulf coastal counties, 17% in Atlantic coastal counties, and 16% in Hawaii (U.S. Census Bureau 2010)
  • Much of the United States’ densely populated Atlantic and Gulf Coast coastlines lie less than 10 feet above mean sea level
  • Over half of the Nation’s economic productivity is located within coastal zones
  • 72% of ports, 27% of major roads, and 9% of rail lines within the Gulf Coast region are at or below 4 ft elevation (CCSP, SAP 4-7)
  • A storm surge of 23 ft has the ability to inundate 67% of interstates, 57% of arterials, almost half of rail miles, 29 airports, and virtually all ports in the Gulf Coast area (CCSP SAP 4-7)

Even when storms are located hundreds of miles away and don’t “hit” the coast, they can still pose significant threat through rip currents.

Rip currents are channeled currents of water flowing away from shore, usually extending past the line of breaking waves, that can pull even the strongest swimmers away from shore.

For boaters, mariners and beachgoers alike, keeping informed on the tide & current information can be a matter of life and death. Don’t be fooled by a hurricane’s location.. be aware of rip currents during hurricane season!

Tornadoes don’t occur just along the coast during a hurricane. They can form close to the center of the hurricane eye wall or can exist in the rain bands that extend off the center of the hurricane. Tornadoes post a threat within hundreds of miles of a hurricane due to the disturbance the hurricane is causing in the atmosphere. Even if the hurricane is not directly hitting your area, be aware of tornado warnings and have your safe room ready.

Hurricanes are full of rain and often produce widespread, torrential rains in excess of 6 inches, which may result in deadly and destructive floods. In fact, flooding is the major threat from hurricanes for people living inland. Flash flooding, defined as a rapid rise in water levels, can occur quickly due to intense rainfall. Longer term flooding on rivers and streams can persist for several days after the storm. When approaching water on a roadway, never try to drive through moving water. It is best to turn around versus risking drowning.

Rainfall amounts are not directly related to the strength of hurricanes but rather to the speed and size of the storm, as well as the geography of the area. Slower moving and larger storms produce more rainfall.

While 75 mph winds don’t scare most Floridians, think about the damage they can cause. Would you want a pineapple, piece of wood or piece of glass flying at your body at 75 mph? Even the weakest hurricanes cause wind damage.

Mobile homes and buildings that have not been built since newer building codes were enforced will still be affected by 75 mph winds. These buildings can product the flying objects that can affect your home or business.

It is for this reason, you want to take measures to secure loose patio furniture, lawn decorations, trim trees and protect windows even for the smallest hurricane.

When it comes to dealing with disasters...

We have 40 years experience and have seen it all. We put together this guide to help you serve your household the best you can. We want you to be successful.  Reach us 772-567-4435 anytime of the day or night.

Hurricane Preparedness: Develop an Evacuation Plan
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Hurricane Preparedness: Develop an Evacuation Plan

Do you know if you live in a hurricane evacuation zone?

Knowing this information beforehand can help you when a hurricane or tropical storm approaches.

Check now

Visit the Florida Disaster Map Hurricane Evacuation Zone Locator and see if your home or business lies in an evacuation zone!

Voluntary vs. Mandatory Evacuations

Technically, the government cannot force people to leave their homes… even when a hurricane is approaching the coast. As a hurricane approaches, you will hear the terms “voluntary” and “mandatory” evacuations… so what does that really mean?

When officials say “voluntary evacuation” that means the governor of Florida has not issued an official evacuation order. So why do they urge “voluntary evacuations” when the governor hasn’t made an official declaration? Because local and state authorities are trying to cut down on panic and traffic congestion for when the actual decree is given.

When the term “mandatory evacuation” is thrown out, that means the governor has officially released an evacuation order. Local services such as police and 911 will still be available, however only emergency personnel will respond depending on conditions and how many requests for help are being received. As you can surmise, waiting until you need the help of local authorities is not advisable. Anyone with health issues or disabilities needs to evacuate when orders are given or ahead of the storm to assure proper (and timely) attention is given.

WHEN IT COMES TO DEALING WITH DISASTERS…

We have 40 years experience and have seen it all. We put together this guide to help you serve your policyholders the best you can. We want you to be successful.  Reach us 772-567-4435 anytime of the day or night.

Hurricane Preparedness: Get a Disaster Plan
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Hurricane Preparedness: Get a Disaster Plan

Being prepared for a tropical storm or hurricane will help with the stress of preparing for a hurricane.

You never know where and what you will be doing when that tropical storm warning comes about. You could be coming back from vacation, a business trip or out of town altogether.

Ask these 4 questions of your employees and family members to start putting together your disaster plan:

How will you receive emergency alerts and warnings?

  • Do you have a weather radio? If not, now is the time to get one.
  • Have you subscribed to Weather Emergency Alerts from your local news? 

What is your shelter plan?

  • Identify safe places in your home to weather the storm. Make sure your safe place is:
    • Area with no windows or doors
    • Stocked with emergency supplies
    • Access to food & water

What is Your Evacuation Route?

  • Leave early enough to not be caught in traffic
  • If you cannot leave sooner, think about the best ways to get out of Vero Beach that will be the least congested
  • Develop a plan in case you get seperated from your family members
  • Keep extra gas at your home so you are ready to leave without being stuck at the gas pumps
  • Put an emergency kit in your car
  • Have a plan to evacuate family members that are disabled

What is your communication plan?

Download This Template

FEMA has developed an easy-to-use template to put together your family emergency commmunication plan.

WHEN IT COMES TO DEALING WITH DISASTERS…

We have 40 years experience and have seen it all. We put together this guide to help you serve your policyholders the best you can. We want you to be successful.  Reach us 772-567-4435 anytime of the day or night.

Hurricane Preparedness: Assemble Disaster Supplies
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Hurricane Preparedness: Assemble Disaster Supplies

Beat the rush: Get your supplies now

Waiting until a hurricane has got our area in its sights is a bad time to be thinking about hurricane supplies. People panic and store shelves become empty within a few hours of the news stations proclaiming we are under a tropical storm/hurricane warning or watch. Gas stations get pumped dry and lumber for boarding up homes become scarce. Gather all these things now so you can be ready when a storm hits!

What to include in your supplies preparation:

(Source: Ready.gov)

  • Water – 1 gallon per day/per person
  • Food – three-day supply of nonperishable food
  • Can opener (if your kit contains canned food)
  • Weather radio – hand crank or battery-powered
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • Whistle
  • Dust mask, plastic sheeting, duct tape
  • Moist towelettes, baggies with ties
  • Wrench or pliers
  • Local maps

Additional Items to Consider:

  • Prescription medications
  • Eye glasses
  • Infant formula
  • Diapers
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Sleeping bag/blanket
  • Change of clothing
  • Important family documents in a waterproof container
  • Cash, traveler’s checks and change
  • Matches in waterproof container
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Bleach
  • Books, puzzles or other activities for children
  • Extra food and water for pets
After you assemble your kit...
  • Store your emergency supplies in a cool, dry place
  • Make sure all family knows where the supply kit is
  • Pay attention to expiration dates
  • Make a supply kit not only for your home, but for your car & workplace

WHEN IT COMES TO DEALING WITH DISASTERS...

We have 40 years experience and have seen it all. We put together this guide to help you serve your policyholders the best you can. We want you to be successful.  Reach us 772-567-4435 anytime of the day or night.