Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Welcome to 2017 Hurricane Season

Are you ready for it?
By: Edward L. Blais, JD, CIC

With hurricane season in full swing, your friends at Blais Insurance want you to be prepared for the unexpected.

According to the Weather Channel, the number of hurricanes and tropical storms begins to rise in August, peaking in September; however, there is no way of predicting exactly when these natural disasters will strike. Among the biggest hurricanes the Northeast has experienced, Irene and Katrina arrived in August, Earl in September, and Sandy hit in October just 5 years ago.

To stay safe during the next big hurricane, please consider the following:

Before the Hurricane:

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and create a family communications plan.
  • Know your surroundings. 
  • Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone. This will help you know how your property will be affected when storm surge or tidal flooding are forecasted.
  • Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.
  • Make plans to secure your property.
  • Consider installing a generator if at all an option, as it would be worth its weight in gold in a power outage.
During the Hurricane:
  • Stay indoors.
  • Don’t walk on beaches, riverbanks or in flood waters.
  • Use flashlights in the dark if the power goes out. Do NOT use candles.
  • Continue listening to local area radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates.
  • Avoid contact with floodwater. It may be contaminated with sewage or contain dangerous insects or animals.
  • Turn off the power and water mains if instructed to do so by local authorities.
After the Hurricane:

  • Let friends and family know you’re safe - Register yourself as safe on the American Red Cross ‘Safe and Well’ website.
  • If evacuated, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so.
  • Continue listening to local news for updated information and instructions.
  • Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding.
Flood insurance can mean the difference between recovering and being financially devastated after a hurricane. The damage from just one inch of water can cost more than $20,000.

When purchasing flood insurance be sure to ask your Blais Insurance agent the right questions to know what is and is not covered. Contents inside a building are not covered by a building/structure flood policy. You'll need an additional policy for contents within the building. There is typically a 30 day wait period between when you buy a flood insurance policy and when it goes into effect.

For more information on flood insurance, or if you have any questions about your homeowners’ policy, please call Blais Insurance at 401-725-0070.