Hurricane Season: Tips for Home and Business Owners for Storm Preparation
Wednesday, June 13, 2012 • 5:35pm
As we near the height of the summer heat, we also near some of the most dangerous months of the year: Hurricane Season.
After Hurricane Irene wreaked havoc in 2011, New Jersey residents cannot help but remember the damage such a storm can inflict on the North East. The owners of both homes and businesses must remember to take necessary steps before a hurricane to minimize damage quickly and effectively return their lives to normal after a storm has passed.
When a hurricane is on the forecast, all individuals should protect themselves and their loved ones by creating and stocking a designated Disaster Kit, including but not limited to:
- Extra Batteries
- Manual can opener
- Portable Radio, battery-operated
- First Aid kit
- Canned food and bottled water
- Necessary prescription and over-the-counter medications
- Cash, in case of a prolonged power outage in local stores
After creating a Disaster Kit, home owners must also remember certain simple but imperative checks to prepare themselves and their property from additional damage:
- Keep all disaster supplies on-hand, no matter the forecast.
- Designate an out-of-town friend or loved one to serve as an emergency contact in case of separation; ensure all family members have that number for ease in communication.
- Trim trees, bushes, and foliage before hurricane season to prevent unnecessary damage.
- Photograph your property for ease in insurance claims
- List loose items that will need to come inside in the event of a windstorm, including trashcans and satellite dishes.
- Confirm appropriate insurance coverage for your home and auto policies.
In NJ, the damage caused by windstorms, like hurricanes, is most often covered under standard home insurance policies. To make sure you are protected, reread your policy and contact your insurance agent to confirm that you are covered well before the dangers of a storm.
Remember that flood insurance is not included in most home policies. If you live in a known flood zone, it is imperative that you have the correct coverage for the damage that can be caused by rising water levels.
For those who own their own businesses, hurricanes can pose a threat to both property and those consistent sales that make it possible for businesses to thrive. In addition to tips regarding property damage and preparation, business owners should also remember to:
- Store necessary documents in waterproof bags.
- Copy necessary documents and keep supplemental copies in an off-site location.
- Include at least four years of tax returns in necessary document files.
- Print recent power and light statements to use in business interruption claims.
- Photograph workspace, including product inventories, office supplies, and other necessary equipment to use as backup documentation.
As we approach Hurricane Season, remember that simple preparation can make a world of difference in protecting yourself, your family, and your customers. Before the danger strikes, protect the things that matter most.