June 1 typically marks the start of the hurricane season each year.
Last week was designated Hurricane Preparedness Week which urges Americans to prepare their home and families before the season begins. Each day throughout the week was dedicated to a specific action that people can take to get prepared.
Hurricanes are one of nature’s most powerful and destructive natural disasters that we face. It only takes one to change your life. It’s not just major hurricanes that we need to worry about. Hurricanes such as Sandy and Isaac remind us that significant impacts can occur without it being a major hurricane at landfall.
Superstorm Sandy destroyed homes, splintered boardwalks and put many businesses out of commission. The storm was one of the most destructive hurricanes of the 2012 season and the second-costliest hurricane in US history; surpassed only by the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. Many residents of New Jersey that were affected or displaced are still waiting to be fully compensated for the damages they incurred.
The Ross Maghan Agency remembers Hurricane Sandy well and is committed to helping our clients prepare for potential hurricanes all along the Jersey Shore and the rest of New Jersey as well.
What can you do before hurricane season begins?
Know your risk, get prepared, and stay informed.
Hurricanes are not just a coastal problem. High winds, heavy rainfall, tornadoes, and flooding can be felt hundreds of miles inland, potentially causing loss of life and catastrophic damage to property. Check out NOAA’s historical hurricane tracks tool to check the severity and frequency of past hurricanes in your area.
Get Prepared: As the storm approaches, it is often too late to get ready. Before hurricane season, make sure you:
- Know your zone. Evacuations are more common than people realize. Make yourself familiar with your community’s evacuation zones, so you’ll know exactly where to go. Remember: if a hurricane threatens your community and local officials say it's time to evacuate, don't hesitate – “get the hell off the beach” and go early.
- Complete a family communication plan. Plan how you will assemble your family and loved ones, and anticipate where you will go for different situations. Get together with your family and agree on the ways to contact one another in an emergency, identify meeting locations, and make a Family Emergency Communication Plan.
- Download the FEMA app. The FEMA App includes disaster resources, weather alerts, safety tips, and a new feature that will enable users to receive push notifications to their devices to prepare their homes and families for disasters. The app also provides a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, maps of open shelters and recovery centers, tips on how to survive disasters, and weather alerts from the National Weather Service.
- Check your insurance coverage. Many states have increased deductibles for hurricanes and not all hurricane-related losses are covered under traditional policies. Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damage or losses from flooding. Review your policy, ensure you’re adequately covered and understand exclusions, and contact your agent for any changes. If you’re not insured against flood, talk to your agent or visit http://www.floodsmart.gov/. Renter’s insurance policies are also available and should be considered as a way of protecting your belongings.
Stay Informed: Know where to go for trusted sources of information during a hurricane event. Sign up for alerts from your local emergency management office so notifications, including evacuation orders, go directly to your phone and email. Monitor local news for hurricane watches and warnings in your area and follow directions of local officials. Make sure you have a battery-operated or hand-crank radio available should the power go out.
Additional information is available at www.ready.gov/hurricanes and http://www.state.nj.us/njoem/plan/hurricanes.html