Unlike most natural disasters, there often is at least some early warning before a hurricane-sometimes hours or even a few days. It's important to take advantage of that time to consider your options, review your safety plans and make preparations.
First and foremost, it is important to carefully monitor local weather reports and follow all advisories from local authorities about precautions and evacuation. Then, as time permits, to ensure your safety and the safety of your family and property be sure to follow these preparation tips.
People (and Pets)
- Create an evacuation plan. Map the safest areas and routes through which to evacuate your home. Identify multiple emergency transit routes in all directions and a primary and a secondary meeting location. Know where your nearest evacuation shelters are located.
- Prepare an easily transportable emergency kit.
- Identify an out-of-area contact. Designate a friend or a family member in another state who can act as a communication traffic manager, and make sure that person has your updated contact list (children's schools, doctors' offices, employer, etc.).
- Educate your family. Make sure that everyone in your family can identify hurricane warnings and understands what to do when warnings are given.
- Ensure that drinkable water is available. Fill up bathtubs and sinks.
- Fill up the gas tank in case you need to evacuate.
- Know where and how family pets will be cared for.
- Make your home hurricane-ready. Install hurricane shutters, prune your trees and secure loose roof shingles or tiles.
- Secure, close and lock all doors and windows. Close all curtains and drapes for protection against shattered glass.
- Protect documentation. Make copies of all important documents (passport, driver's license, birth certificate, financial documentation, auto registration and license, property deeds, will, etc.) and keep copies with an out-of-area contact.
- Create a home inventory on your smartphone or iPad with the easy-to-use Liberty Mutual Home Gallery® app. This will be helpful in identifying missing or damaged items and will make filing your insurance claim much easier if necessary.
- Turn off all electronics. Make sure that circuit breakers are turned off and all home electronics are unplugged to prevent damage from power surges.