Hurricane Season Tips
For those of us in Atlantic Canada, Hurricane season lasts until the end of November. The toll that these powerful storms sometimes take can be tragic, but there are steps you can follow to help minimize and prevent loss.
Sign up for storm alerts, storm trackers, and the like in your area. The Government of Canada provides a storm alert service, as do a number of local community groups throughout the region. Facebook is another good source for finding these groups. Click here for an example of the federal government’s alerts service for Queens County P.E.I. You can also bookmark key pages for quick access.
Prepare an emergency kit that includes:
- A flashlight (check batteries on a regular basis)
- Extra batteries
- Electric lanterns
- Cell phone charger
- First aid kit
- Battery or crank operated radio
- Bottled water
- Food with an extended shelf life (i.e. canned goods; in this case, add a bottle opener to your kit)
- A multi-purpose tool such as a Swiss Army Knife
Medications and items such as eyeglasses and hearing aids are something else to keep in mind. Kits should be kept in a Rubbermaid-style plastic container with lid. It’s also a good idea to keep a smaller version of the emergency kit in each vehicle, and additions such as reflective vests/jackets, and road flares or other attention-getting devices are a good idea.
It’s always a good idea to have a list as record of all the significant items in your home on hand. This can also be accompanied by photos and/or video.
Keep in Touch
In addition to having emergency numbers programmed on your phone, it’s a good idea to keep a list on hand. Numbers should include friends and family who you may need to contact in these situations, emergency services, repair people, your insurance company, your bank and other financial institutions, co-workers, your vet (if you have a pet), etc.
Prepare Your Home
Perform an outside inspection with an eye towards situations that may cause potential harm in high winds and heavy rain. Are your eaves trough gutters clear? Are tree branches trimmed for safety? Are there items that might become dangerous in strong winds, such as waste containers, picnic tables, etc.? If so, make sure they are safely stored or securely tethered. Use your storm windows or shutters. Inside, if flooding seems likely, take valuable or easily damaged items out of the basement and store them on a safer level. A portable generator can also be a significant advantage during a hurricane.
Listen to the Experts
Emergency services in your area will broadcast information about what to do during an emergency. Stay tuned. If they tell you to evacuate, it’s crucial that you pay attention. They will also tell you where to go. Conversely, if they ask that you stay inside your home, it’s essential that you listen.
Preparing for a hurricane is rarely foremost in our minds when the day is sunny, or even when the weather is simply reasonable. Being prepared, however, can go a long way to minimizing the long-term effects of a tropical storm. Cooke Insurance offers a number of Property and Personal options that are designed for just that purpose. Contact the experts at Cooke, and take a major step in securing your home. Call 1-800-566-5666 or click here.