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Getting Ready for the 2019 Hurricane Season

Trees that fell on a house during a hurricane

Are you ready for Andrea? Barry? What about Humberto, Jerry and Karen?

Those aren’t people, but rather the names meteorologists will give to the tropical storms and hurricanes as they develop in 2019.

In a few short months, people up and down the east coast could be cleaning up after hurricane damage, which means we’ll likely be dealing with hurricane claims. PA and NJ: pretty much any state on the east coast is susceptible to some level of destruction from tropical storms.

We’ve talked a lot about how to recover after a storm hits and dealing with NJ and PA hurricane claims, but we haven’t dealt much with hurricane preparation. With that in mind, we’ve decided to share this list from FEMA on how you can prepare for hurricanes before, during and after the storm.

Advance preparation

  • Know what level of risk your community is at for hurricanes.
  • Make sure you’re signed up for your community’s emergency alert system.
  • Watch for signs of flash flooding. Make sure you have an evacuation plan and know how to get to shelters.
  • Collect enough supplies for at least three days, taking extra care to remember pets, as well as family members who have specific medical needs.
  • Put important documents somewhere safe. You might want to make some password-protected digital copies as well.
  • Review your insurance policy to see what it says about hurricane damage and protect your property by decluttering drains and gutters and installing check valves in your plumbing.

Three days before the hurricane lands

  • Keep your TV or radio on to get up-to-date forecasts and emergency instructions.
  • Check your emergency kit to make sure you have enough food and water for at least three days, cash, medication, a flashlight, batteries and first aid gear.
  • Have a plan for staying in touch with your family if the power goes out: calling, texting, or keeping them updated on social media. Texting is usually more reliable during a disaster because phone lines can become overloaded.
  • Put gas in your car and make sure there are no mechanical issues. Keep emergency supplies and a change of clothes in the car.

18-36 hours before the hurricane lands

  • Bookmark your city or county website to get quick access to emergency instructions and updates about the storm.
  • Bring loose objects indoors, as these can turn into dangerous projectiles during high winds (patio furniture, garbage cans). Propane tanks shouldn’t be indoors, so make sure you’ve anchored them.
  • Trim or remove trees that might fall on your home.
  • Cover all your windows, ideally using permanent storm shutters. If you don’t have shutters, 5’8” or marine plywood will work.

Six to 18 hours before the hurricane lands

  • Check your city/county website every 30 minutes for updates or instructions.
  • Charge your cellphone now in case you lose power.

Six hours before the hurricane arrives

  • Unless you’ve been told to evacuate, stay indoors and let your family and friends know where you are.
  • Close storm shutters and keep away from windows.
  • Put your refrigerator on its coldest setting and only open it when absolutely necessary. This will help keep food colder and fresher longer if you lose power.
  • Keep your TV and radio on and keep checking your city/county website for updates.

During the hurricane

  • If you’ve been told to evacuate, evacuate. Do not drive around barricades.
  • If you become trapped by flooding, get to the highest level of the building possible. Do not climb into a closed attic, as you could become trapped.
  • Listen for emergency information and instructions.
  • Use generators and other gas powered equipment away from windows. Never fire up a generator or gas powered machinery indoors.
  • Do not try to walk, drive or swim through flood waters. It only takes six inches of fast-moving water to knock you down, and a foot of water to sweep away your vehicle.
  • Avoid bridges over fast-moving water.

After the storm

Again, most of our post-hurricane writings here have dealt with the damage that leads to hurricane claims. PA and NJ residents who have just weathered a major storm first need to make sure they’re safe before they worry about their homes. That means:

  • Checking in with emergency responders to find out information and special instructions.
  • Being careful when you clean up. Wear protective clothing and don’t work alone.
  • Avoiding electrical equipment if it’s wet or if you’re standing in water. If it’s safe to do so, turn off electricity at the main breaker or fuse box to prevent shocks.
  • Avoiding wading in flood water, which might hide dangerous debris or downed power lines.
  • Only making phone calls if it’s an emergency, as the phone systems will be busy. If you need to communicate with family or friends, text rather than call.

Dealing with PA hurricane claims? Contact Interstate Public Adjusters

If your home has been damaged during a hurricane, having an experienced public adjuster by your side can make a world of difference. When it comes to hurricane claims, PA’s Interstate Public Adjusters has spent years helping homeowners in PA and NJ recover from their loss and get the compensation they deserve. Contact us today to learn more.

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