Although summer is nearing an end, coastal residents still need to be vigilant about hurricane preparedness. The peak of the hurricane season is September 10 and the tropical storm activity appears to be heating up with last week’s landfall of Hurricane Earl in Belize.
“Texas coastal residents need to know that any hurricane headed our way can cause major damage and make life miserable for weeks after the storm,” said Mark Hanna, a spokesperson for the Insurance Council of Texas. “Anyone living along the coast should have an evacuation plan and consider having the right amount of insurance coverage for their home and automobiles.”
Fortunately for Texas, the state has not seen a hurricane for eight years. nBack in 2008, Hurricane Dolly struck first at South Padre Island in late July, followed by Tropical Storm Edouard on Aug. 5 near Port Arthur and then, Sept. 13, the costliest storm to ever hit Texas occurred when Hurricane Ike slammed into Bolivar Peninsula near Galveston causing $12 billion in insured losses.
“Studies have shown that as many as 85 percent of the coastal population has never experienced a direct hit from a major hurricane,” said Hanna. “That means a lot of people have never prepared for a hurricane and they have no idea of what to expect.”
The Insurance Council of Texas prepared a brochure entitled, Lessons Learned: Texas Hurricanes. The brochure offers advice on protecting your home and what to expect after the storm. The ICT brochure is available at http://www.insurancecouncil.org/docs/public/link/2016/HurricaneLessons.pdf.
If you plan to ride out an approaching hurricane, remember that your home could be without electricity for weeks. Water, gasoline, food and other essentials may be difficult to locate. Your city may face a mandatory evacuation which demands that you are forced to relocate and seek shelter elsewhere. That’s why it is important that you have made plans long before a hurricane is threatening.
- Have a full tank of gas.
- Pack for at least three days.
- Have at least a three day supply of non-perishable food.
- Have one gallon of bottled water per person per day.
- Get cash. ATMs may not be operable.
- Take phone chargers.
- Take important documents including your insurance policies
- Pack prescription medications
- Have coolers for food and ice storage.
- Bring blankets, pillows and sleeping bags.
- Consider the needs of every family member.
Living along the coast, a homeowner may need three separate insurance policies. They include: a basic homeowner policy which provides coverage for fire and general liability; a windstorm policy which provides coverage for wind, rain and hail; and a flood insurance policy which provides protection from rising waters. For your vehicle, you should carry comprehensive coverage which will provide protection for your automobile from flood waters.
For more information on flooding and your flood risks, turn to https://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/.