Hurricane Preparedness: 5 Safety Precautions for Your Clients
The official Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1st. Now is a great time for hurricane preparedness. Being prepared is more important than ever because the 2022 Hurricane season is expected to have above average activity.
Colorado State University researchers predict 19 named storms in 2022, which is much higher than the 1991-2020 average of 14.4 per year. 2021 also had an above-average number of named storms. In fact, last year, scientists predicted 17 named storms, but the actual number was 21, making 2021 the third most active hurricane season on record.
The NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management reported that “[i]n 2021, there were 20 separate billion-dollar weather and climate disasters.” The total cost of these events came to a whopping $145 billion, ranking 2021 as the third most expensive year on record.
Here are five hurricane preparedness steps you can take with your clients:
1. Review Their Flood Insurance Coverage
The first way your clients can protect their homes is by making sure they have enough flood insurance. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) covers up to $250,000 for flood damage to residential buildings and up to $100,000 for contents.
If your customer’s home replacement value is more than $250,000 they may want to consider adding an excess flood policy or opting for a private flood policy like EZ Flood.
2. Assess Their Hurricane Risk
If your client isn’t sure of their hurricane risk, the NOAA’s ‘Determine Your Risk’ page can help. As hurricanes grow more frequent and powerful it can be valuable for homeowners to learn more. The NOAA points out that it’s not just homes on the coast that are affected by hurricanes, as “impacts from wind and water can be felt hundreds of miles inland . . .”
3. Prepare Their Home for a Hurricane
As a member of the insurance industry, you’ve likely seen the kind of damage storms can do to a home. While there’s no such thing as a “hurricane proof home”, there are some steps your customers can take to prepare their property.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recommends that property owners take the following steps to strengthen their homes before a hurricane.
4. Make a Storm Readiness Kit
Whether or not your clients have a hurricane on the way, it’s always a good idea to prepare for a loss of basic services and utilities. Getting a storm survival kit ready-to-go is an easy step your clients can take. Ready.gov recommends including the following items:
Water (one gallon per person per day for several days, for drinking and sanitation)
Food (at least a several-day supply of non-perishable food)
Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
First aid kit
Whistle (to signal for help)
Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
Manual can opener (for food)
Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
Work Cited: www.ready.gov/kit
5. Prepare an Evacuation Plan
Evacuation can be a frightening thought for many homeowners. That’s why it can be so valuable to make a plan ahead of time, so that when the pressure is on, they will know what to do. Here are two simple steps your clients can take to be prepared:
Hurricane season can be a frightening and expensive time for many Americans. But with flood insurance and some thoughtful safety precautions, your clients can face the season with peace of mind.
This article is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to provide individualized advice. All descriptions, summaries or highlights of coverage are for general informational purposes only and do not amend, alter or modify the actual terms or conditions of any insurance policy. Coverage is governed only by the terms and conditions of the relevant policy.