ISS_7806_01065Hurricanes are a time when risk management solutions pay for themselves in both money and peace of mind. As the 2016 hurricane season ramps up, Tropical Storm Colin was an early warning to Florida residents. With the storm and its effects subsided, your time to be concerned doesn’t end. If nothing else, you can get ahead of the next warning and be ready when the next major storm gets ready to make landfall.

The Fire Drill

We’ve had some close calls during the last few storm seasons. I think we had some good and positive things come out of the threat of Tropical Storm Erika in 2015, as well as Tropical Storm Colin – it could have been much worse.

First and foremost, we have not had a Hurricane in Florida for over 11 years which has lead to a mindset of complacency. Since the last storm that had landfall in Florida there are over 2 million more people living here now that have never seen and or prepared for a storm.

You can look at TS Colin like a “Fire Drill” when we were in school. I think the weather experts did the best they could with the unpredictability of it.

Were you prepared or were you left scrambling? Hurricane preparedness, or simply preparedness is key.

Getting Ready Today

The most powerful type of risk management solution is preparedness, because you never know when the announcement will come a tropical storm has become a hurricane and is heading your way. Do you have a bug-out bag? Do you have shutters on your windows, or at least pieces of plywood cut in the right sizes to screw in over your windows? Protecting your home and car is a solid step toward protecting your family.

In Your Home

You would be wise to have at least a few days worth of potable water and food in long-term storage for each member of your family in case the power goes out. Non-perishables are best, but perishables are okay provided you avoid opening your freezer and refrigerator beyond absolutely necessary. If you are caught off guard by a sudden storm and cannot escape, making sure you have sufficient supplies to weather the storm is one of the best risk management solutions to avoid a catastrophic loss.

It is also important to have regular meetings with your family members about what to do in the event of a hurricane. Since the warning can come at any time, having a meeting location and a plan of action even the youngest members of your household can remember is key. Having a fallback meeting point outside of town, say at a relative’s house, is also vital in case you get separated while attempting to escape the path of the storm.

On Your Yard

Your decor could become flying implements of destruction, so minimize the number of objects not secured to the ground in your landscaping. Also, keep at least two paths off your property in case one becomes impassible. Further, identify if your home is on a low-lying area and find the highest part of your property. The lower your elevation, the sooner you want to evacuate as one of your risk management solutions. Keeping enough fuel on your premises to get off your property and well away from the dangerous area is also smart.

Inside Your Car

In your car, you should have batteries, a first aid kit beyond the one in your home, and at least a day’s worth of non-perishable food and water for each family member. You should also have a physical map with at least two evacuation routes out of town. This is because GPS may not be reliable and your GPS system may not have power when you need to escape or your phone may get damaged.

On the Fridge

On your fridge, you should have a copy of your evacuation and meet-up plan. You also need to keep a copy of your evacuation route in case your car is somewhere else when the call to evacuate happens. Finally, your fridge should have a copy of your homeowners insurance on it. When you have the right kind of insurance company, your risk management solutions become a complement to working with people who will have your back when things go sour.

Being prepared can give you a lot of peace of mind. Having the right insurance also helps a lot.

 


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