As of Wednesday morning, Hurricane Joaquin has become the third hurricane of the Atlantic season and while Joaquin’s path is uncertain and proving difficult to forecast, the East Coast will likely feel its impact. Joaquin is expected to strengthen into a Category 2 hurricane between Thursday evening and Friday morning. Heavy rainfall, coastal flooding and high surf are predicted later this week and into early next week from North Carolina coast to Maine.
While Hurricane Joaquin is not predicted to turn into another Sandy or Irene, it’s important to have an established emergency plan in place as hurricanes are highly unpredictable. Know the evacuation routes available to you before there is an official ‘Hurricane Watch’ or ‘Hurricane Warning’ broadcast over the radio or television, and keep alert to the updates for your region. Establishing an evacuation route will help you avoid unsafe and closed routes due to flooding areas.
What Is a ‘Hurricane Watch’?
A ‘Hurricane Watch’ refers to weather circumstances that are capable of producing a hurricane within 36 hours’ time. Once a ‘Hurricane Watch’ is announced, it allows the necessary time to get prepared and put an evacuation plan into place if needed.
What Is a ‘Hurricane Warning’?
A ‘Hurricane Warning’ means that continuous winds of at least 74 miles per hour are anticipated within the next 24 hours. This is a more serious notification than a ‘Hurricane Watch.’ If a ‘Hurricane Warning’ is issued, emergency kits, evacuation plans and protective action for yourself and your home should be in place.
Things to Do Before a Hurricane
If a Hurricane Warning is in effect for your area. It is essential to have protective action plan for you and your home. This includes placing all outdoor items including grills and patio furniture, inside. Also keep landscapes free of debris to prevent items being blown around during the storm.
It is also important to have a well stocked emergency kit. Supplies should consist of the following: First Aid kit, canned foods, bottles of water (3-7 days’ worth per person), toiletries, blankets, pillows, battery-operated or crank radio, flashlights with extra batteries, protective clothing, prescription medicines, and other items necessary for infants and elderly. Place all of your important papers or documents in cases or bags that are waterproof and take some money out of the bank in case the banks are closed or ATM machines are not working. Fill up your car’s tank with fuel.
What to Do As a Hurricane Approaches
Stay inside your home and away from any windows. Homes that are located directly on the coast may need to obtain plywood and nails to board up home’s windows. If your home is a mobile home, protect yourself by moving temporarily into a shelter. Should a mandatory evacuation be issued, vacate the area right away.
When the Hurricane Is Over
There is often flooding after a hurricane, so be on the lookout for water buildup and do not try to drive through a flooded area. Be sure to thoroughly assess any damage that was caused, make documentation including pictures and report it to your insurance agent. It’s important to be prepared for an oncoming hurricane, keeping your family, your house and yourself safe.
For contact information for claims reporting, click here. For more information on how to keep your business and property safe from upcoming storms, contact your SIA Group Risk Advisor or call us toll free at 800.682.7741.
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