Hurricane Florence — How To Be Safe

Sep 12, 2018 | In the News

Hurricane Florence is currently a powerful Category 4 hurricane over the Atlantic Ocean, threatening the Southeastern United States and the U.S. Mid-Atlantic States. It could go to a category 5.

Hurricanes are very unpredictable and the predicted paths can change, but this does not mean we should not prepare for the worse. The brunt of the storm carries a big impact; the potential is for up to 30 inches of rain for the south.  Hopefully things change and the storm is not as potent as it is predicted. This is hurricane season and there are two more storms following Florence and many times these storms reach us as tropical storms with a lot of rain and wind. However we do have to brace again for Hurricane Joyce when she arrives.
This summer has been one of the wettest on record for the East Coast. The ground is saturated which means even a small amount of additional rain becomes a problem.The tree roots are loosened in saturated ground. They could be uprooted easily.

Make sure you make preparations now:

  • Inspect your roof, flashing and siding.  Replace your roof or flashing if it is old and worn. 
  • Prepare your basement before flooding occurs.   Raise items stored in the basement, make sure your sump pump has a battery backup, and think twice before making your basement a living area.
  • Landscape your home to help absorb water and keep water away from your home.
  • Check your gutters and downspouts to make sure they are not clogged. 
  • If you have a storm drain on the street near your home make sure it is clear of debris so the water can flow into the storm drain.  Rake up leaves and other debris that may be clogging the storm drain.
  • When you have a loss, make sure you correct the problem that caused the loss so it does not happen to you again.

Many of us are in preferred flood zones but because of the recent crazy weather over the past few years,  you should still consider the purchase of flood insurance. That small dried up creek can rise quickly causing water to run through your property.  Buying flood insurance now won’t help you with Florence as there is a 30 day waiting period but there are more storms in the future.  You hear it all the time after an area floods “I have been living here for over 50 years and my home never had flooding before.”  Don’t be the one that will say this to the reporter. Keep in mind that when your area receives a storm watch or warning most of your insurance carriers will put a moratorium on the binding authority which means they may not be able to offer you insurance.  Some tips:

  • If you are making settlement on a home during a potential storm make sure the policy is issued now or delay settlement if possible until after the storm.
  • If you are planning on picking up a new car, it is suggest you wait until after the storm so your new car does not flood or get damaged by a tree, reducing its value.  Wait to take possession of the new car until after the storm leaves the area.
  • Be aware of where you park your car during a storm to avoid flood and trees.
  • Put your valuables on a separate inland marine policy.  Many of these policies cover flood damage.
  • If you are asked to evacuate in your area, it is always best to do so.
  • Power outages are expected as well as more than heavy flooding, so no area is really safe within the path of this Hurricane.
  • Hurricane Florence could be worse than any hurricane the United States has ever experienced — putting millions of people out of their homes and without electricity for weeks, and perhaps months.
  • If you have friends or family in a higher, safe area, plan to stay with them until the danger has passed.

I do see this hurricane going up the East Coast and hitting hardest from Georgia up to New Jersey with the worst being North Carolina and Virginia. I see a potential of three hurricanes going up the East Coast of the USA. Yes, they will cause extensive damage to the middle East Coast states. Anyone reading this, please prepare now. Don’t wait and see because you could come to harm.

You cannot hang on to material possessions,
but you can be safe with your life and the lives of those you love.