A year after Ike, are you ready?

Hurricane Season has begun, and severe weather will threaten most areas located along the Gulf Coast. The National Weather Center is predicting at least 15 named storms this year. Due to the unpredictable nature of hurricanes and tropical storms, it is imperative to have a plan now to protect your home, family and pets. Even though the season has been slow so far things are changing fast. Some of the United States worst hurricane seasons started off slow.

Hurricane Ike made everyone realize that we need to be more prepared when trying to evacuate before the storm and survive after. To start your Tropical Storm plan you need to have multiple evacuation routes or a place to stay. It is good to know where the nearest official shelter and Red Cross are in case you need help before, during and after a storm. Always think about your animals and make sure you have a place for them to go in case you can’t take them with you.

It is always good to have a “Go Bag” of items that are a necessity for survival for you and your family. Your “Go Bag” should be able to be taken with you at any time you need to evacuate the home. Some of the items in my “Go Bag” are a first aid kit, flashlight, lighters, knife, clean drinking water, non perishable food, any medications and a battery operated radio. My “Go Bag” is in the closet and all I need to add is food, water, prescriptions and any important documents, and I am ready to go. My animals have their own “Go Bag” loaded up with leashes and a small first aid kit. The only items I will need to add to their bag is food, water and prescriptions. The “Go Bag” can be a plastic storage bin or even a backpack. Make sure you don’t get to big of a storage bin that you can’t carry it easily.

When your family makes the decision to not evacuate it is good to have enough supplies for up to a week per person. Each person in your home will need one gallon of clean drinking water per day and plenty of food. Make sure and have some tools in a place you can find them. You’ll never know when you might need to make a quick fix to keep the house together. Remember, the electricity will probably be out so you will need a manual can opener, a lighter for cooking and a lantern or flashlight. Mosquito and bug spray will be ideal since you will probably be outdoors cleaning up debris. We can not rely on the Red Cross and Government to provide food and water to everyone. Be prepared!

Today, you need to read your flood and home policies to understand the coverage. Flood and home insurance does not cover everything you think it does. Make sure your insurance amounts are based on the current reconstruction cost. A 2,000 square foot home might sell for $135,000 but would need coverage at $175,000 or higher to be reconstructed. Remember the insurance company is not going to buy your home but they are going to remove all debris and reconstruct the home with new materials. Many agents are selling people inferior policies just to make some money. Make sure you know what is going on with your insurance.
Now is the time!