The hurricane season 2021 in the Atlantic is in progress and it is being shaped to become another bad one. Homeowners and businesses should make sure they are prepared for the worst.
Hurricane season forecasts and trends
The hurricane season 2020 was particularly active. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there were 30 named storms, a record. Of these storms, 11 landed in the continental United States, 14 became hurricanes and seven became major hurricanes.
The 2021 hurricane season got off to an early start with Ana, a named storm that formed in May. According to Bloomberg, this is the seventh year in a row when named tropical systems have been formed before June 1, what is believed to be the official start of the hurricane season in the Atlantic. season. We are expected to see 13 to 20 named storms, including six to ten hurricanes.
Prepare Your Business and Your Home
You may not get much warning before a hurricane hits, so it's important to prepare in advance to protect both people and property.
- Trim your trees and remove other hazards that can cause damage during a hurricane.
- Remove debris from gutters and drains.
- Prepare your emergency supplies. See Ready.gov for information on how to build an emergency kit.
- Get boards, nails, sandbags and other items ready to fortify your property in the event of a storm.
- Consider installing storm hatches for extra protection. Other property improvements may include upgrading to hurricane-proof doors and sealing any openings in your walls or ceiling. See IBH's FORTIFIED standards for building codes designed to better withstand natural disasters.
Getting Ready for a Storm
If a storm is hitting, you need to take quick action.
- Be ready to turn off tools and propane tanks. Make sure you know what needs to be turned off and how to do it.
- Fill the bathtub and containers with water.
- Secure your belongings. If objects outside can pose a danger in strong winds, move them in or secure them. Also, take steps to protect important files, equipment, and other items that you do not want to damage in the storm.
- Collect important documents, including insurance certificates, so you can get them if you need them.
- Listen for information. Get a battery-powered radio – and lots of batteries – if the power goes out.
Be ready to evacuate
If there is a storm, you may need to evacuate quickly. Make sure you are ready.
- Plan your evacuation routes. Have at least two routes if one is unsure.
- Get your car ready. You do not want to run empty when it's time to leave, so keep a full tank. Have your car checked out by a mechanic and store emergency equipment in your car. Ready.gov has more information on car safety.
- Know where you're going. Opportunities include shelter and hotel or staying with friends and family.
- Plan how to keep in touch. Communication can be tricky during a hurricane. Both families and businesses should consider how they will communicate during a hurricane. Have emergency numbers on hand, if contacts in your mobile phone are not available.
Do not forget COVID
If you need to evacuate, you may need to spend time in a shelter, and this may expose you to COVID-19. The CDC recommends receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Include masks and hand sanitizers in your emergency supplies.
In addition, some emergency protection measures may be affected by the pandemic, so double check the plans in your area.
Watch out for others
If you know someone who is older or has special needs, make sure they are prepared for a hurricane. Check it out and see if there is anything they need help with.
And do not forget your pets. If you need to evacuate, make sure you are ready to take your pets with you. You need food and other necessities for them. You also need to make sure your destination is pet friendly.
Prepare for Business Breaks
Businesses should have disaster plans. For example, what steps must be taken if the business has to close? How will communication take place? Who will be responsible for various tasks? How will recovery and return to work take place after the hurricane? See the Ready Business Hurricane Toolkit for detailed guidance.
Employees should find out about the company's disaster policy. For example, how can they find out if the business is closing due to a hurricane? Who should they contact?
Check your insurance
Do not wait for a hurricane to form. Check your insurance now.
- Are your property boundaries high enough to cover the cost of remodeling? Construction costs have increased recently, so check your limits.
- Do you need a separate flood insurance? Flood damage is not covered by a standard insurance for homeowners.
- Do you have sufficient coverage for business interruptions?
- Have you made an inventory recently? If you need to submit an application, this will make the process easier.
The team at BNC Insurance is here to help. Contact us if you have any questions or if you want to review your insurance.