Hurricane season begins June 1. And while we hope another storm never hits Southeast Texas, it’s important to be prepared. That’s why FEMA has designated May 15 – 21 as Hurricane Preparedness Week.
If you’ve lived in the Golden Triangle for more than a few days, you know how quickly storms can develop. Here are six steps you should take before Hurricane Season begins:
1. Know Your Risk
Whether you live near the beach, the border, or the Lakes Area – high winds, heavy rainfall, tornadoes, and flooding can cause catastrophic damage and potentially loss of life. Check out NOAA’s historical hurricane tracks tool to check the severity and frequency of past hurricanes near you home.
2. Know your Zone
Make yourself familiar with your community’s evacuation zones, so you’ll know exactly where to go. Remember: if a hurricane is headed to Southeast Texas and local officials say it’s time to evacuate, don’t hesitate to go early.
3. Complete a Family Communications Plan
Plan how you will assemble your family and loved ones, and anticipate where you will go for different situations. Get together with your family and agree on the ways to contact one another in an emergency, identify meeting locations, and make a Family Emergency Communication Plan.
4. Download the FEMA App
The FEMA app includes disaster resources, weather alerts, safety tips, and a new feature that enables users to receive notifications to their devices to prepare their homes and families for disasters. The app also provides a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, maps of open shelters and recovery centers, tips on how to survive disasters, and weather alerts from the National Weather Service.
5. Check your Insurance Coverage
All hurricane-related losses are not covered under traditional insurance policies. Do you have windstorm insurance? Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damage or loss from flooding. Review your policy, ensure you’re adequately covered and understand exclusions, and contact your agent for any changes. If you’re not insured against floods, talk to your agent or visit floodsmart.gov. Renter’s insurance policies are also available and should be considered as a way of protecting your belongings.
6. Stay Informed
Know where to go for trusted sources of information during a hurricane event. Sign up for alerts from your local emergency management office, so notifications, including evacuation orders, go directly to your phone or email. Monitor local news for hurricane watches and warnings, and follow directions of local officials. Make sure you have a battery-operated or hand-crank radio available should the power go out.
Here’s to staying safe, being prepared, and a summer that’s storm free! Be sure to check out our Hurricane Readiness Guide as well, so you can access your money whenever you need it.