It’s that time of year again, folks.
It’s June 1st. That means that summer has started (at least unofficially), we’ve turned a new page on the calendar, and the Atlantic Hurricane Season has begun.
It’s been on every newspaper and every news broadcast on every channel from North Carolina to Florida to Texas. In their zeal to create as much drama as they can, meteorologists and news anchors start tossing around the “H” word like it was a game of dodgeball. It’s inescapable.
The Atlantic Hurricane Season—which includes the Gulf of Mexico—runs from June 1 through November 30.
This year, NOAA—that’s the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, y’all—thinks that because of good ol’ El Nino, there will be fewer hurricanes in 2015 than there have been in years past. This is good news.
But like any news of this sort, it’s to be taken with a grain of salt. The fact that there will be fewer storms doesn’t necessarily mean the ones that come—and they WILL come, like it or not—won’t be dangerous. Hurricanes aren’t something, no matter how much of our lives have been spent around them, that can be taken lightly. Eventually, every place sees its Andrew, its Katrina, its Betsy.
It’s far better to be prepared and have such a storm never come than to be caught off guard.
If you were a Boy Scout (or have ever known one), you’ve probably have heard their motto “Be Prepared” a million times. Every homeowner should do their best impression of one of those scouts and BE PREPARED. You won’t get a merit badge, but being prepared can—and likely will—get you a whole lot more.
So, how do you get prepared? The first step is to contact your insurance agent to make sure your have adequate homeowners insurance to protect your largest asset: YOUR HOME. If you live near a large body of water or even a small stream, you might want to consider getting flood insurance even if you aren’t in a designated flood plain.
It is better to be safe and to shell out a few extra bucks each year than to be sorry later. If you haven’t already done so, snap a few photos of your big ticket belongings (including the serial number and make/model) and email those items to your insurance or your real estate agent (or both).
Urban Provision REALTORS® (that’s us!) recommends you keep this list handy in a Dropbox, Box or your Evernote account. These cloud-based storage providers can be lifesavers if you ever encounter a major disaster. If you don’t have accounts set up with these services yes, it’s easy to set up (and free!)
When a hurricane enters Gulf waters, it’s a good idea to fill all cars with gas and have some extra gas on-hand if you have a gas generator.
Remove all loose objects (like tables, chairs, potted plants) from outdoor areas and put them inside. They can become flying debris that causes additional home damage.
Take inventory of the things in your pantry. We’ve made a list of the things you should have at the ready in case a storm hits and you find yourself without power or water. If you don’t have something, plan a trip to the grocery and/or hardware stores to round things out.
It is much easier to put your fingertips on these items if you have a master list, whether it be printed or digital.
• First Aid Kit/Medication List
• Nonperishable Food (don’t forget the manual can opener)
• Bottled Water (for both your family and your pets)
• Pet Food/Medications
• Charcoal, Lighter Fluid, Matches
• Candles/Flashlights/Battery Operated Radio
• Batteries (plan for two weeks worth)
• Fire Extinguisher
• Masking Tape/Plywood/Hammer/Nails
• Hand Sanitizer/Soap/Paper Towels/Paper Plates
• Protective Clothing/Sturdy Shoes/Rain Gear
• Cleaning Supplies (mops, brooms, rakes, pails, chainsaw – gas powered)
• Mobile Phone Charger (solar powered)
With a little planning, you’ll be in good shape if a hurricane does, indeed, come to town. Though there will likely be fewer storms than “usual,” there are still 6-10 named storms predicted.
Be prepared, be safe, and live to tell the tale.
And if a big one DOES come, be smart. Get in your car and go someplace safe until it passes. Urban Provision wants you around for a long time to come!