June 1 marked the official start of the 2013 hurricane season. While no one’s excited over the prospect of a hurricane slamming the East Coast, you can take several steps now that’ll make your life much easier if a storm heads our way.
- Emergency Kit. You should have this one anyway: flashlights; batteries, first aid supplies; water; non-perishable food; radio (with batteries); cash. Keep it all together in a handy place.
- Go Bag. Pack some clothes, needed medications, copies of important papers (insurance, deed, car titles, etc.), and your home inventory (see 3) in case you need to be out in a rush.
- Make a Home Inventory. If a storm wipes out your home, you’ll be glad you documented your possessions before they got ruined. Make a list (with photos) of major items, such as TVs, computers, and jewelry.
- Check Your Insurance Policy. Read your homeowners’ insurance policy carefully, or speak with an insurance agent who can explain it to you. Policies often differ in coverage depending on whether the damage is from rain or flooding or a named storm, so make sure you know what’s covered.
- Trim Trees. Any sagging, dying, or low-lying limbs need to go before gale-force winds do it for you. Don’t risk a hurricane depositing your dead trees on your roof–take them out the right way.
Above all else, make sure you have all you need to keep your family safe and minimize the disruption to your life if the worst happens.