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5/28/2013 - Ready or not, hurricane season is here

Having emergency supplies with you during a hurricane, including a first-aid kit, is imperative.

What once seemed like it was far away is now on the doorstep. Believe it or not, the official kickoff to hurricane season is less than a week away, which is why it is important to be proactive and take the appropriate steps to support National Hurricane Preparedness Week, which runs from May 26 – June 1.

To gear up for this time of year, it may seem like one has to devote all of their free time to taking care of the home or business in the off chance that a storm threatens the area. Hurricane hazards come in many forms, including storm surge, heavy rainfall, inland flooding, high winds, tornadoes, and rip currents. Therefore, to prepare, stay safe and recover quickly should a hurricane occur, be sure to follow these few simple steps.

First, it's important to know whether you have flood insurance. Most homeowners insurance policies and commercial insurance policies do not cover damages caused by weather related flooding - leaving you stuck if your house or business floods and it - or your contents - are damaged. Flood insurance is designed to pick up where these policies leave off, by covering your property and its contents in the event of a flood.

For homeowners, over the course of owning a residence, changes to the structure may have been made or new belongings purchased. Therefore, it's important to make sure that the insurance policy also adequately reflects the current condition of the home. For businesses, it's imperative to take a current inventory and to back up all records to minimize critical data loss.

Other key precautionary steps include building a communications plan and clearing the property of anything not used, as even seemingly harmless items can serve as projectiles during a hurricane. It is also a good time to stock up on non-perishable emergency supplies, including food, water and a first-aid kit that could last for at least 72 hours.  

More tips on readying for hurricane season can be found by clicking here.

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