How You Can Better Prepare for the 2020 Hurricane Season
This year has sprung a series of unpredictable, difficult events upon us. But with the 2020 hurricanes hurtling toward our shores, we were reminded that in the case of a major storm, there are steps and measures we can take to protect ourselves and our assets from this danger.
With atmospheric and oceanic conditions primed to fuel Atlantic storms, experts predict that the coming hurricane season will be “extremely active.” This comes on the heels of news about Tropical Storm Marco making landfall on the Gulf Coast with Hurricane Laura right behind it. It’s a noticeably early start to the season, as by early August we’ve already had nine named storms. On average, we usually only have two named storms through this point in the year.
“This is one of the most active seasonal forecasts that NOAA has produced in its 22-year history of hurricane outlooks,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “We encourage all Americans to do their part by getting prepared, remaining vigilant, and being ready to take action when necessary.”
With such a strong start to the season, experts say there could be anywhere from 19 to 25 major storms by November 30th. Even with high-tech satellites and the latest weather prediction technology, the devastation a storm may have on a community can still be hard to predict. That’s why having a safety and evacuation plan is paramount to every household which lies in a possible hurricane path.
While many long-time coastal residents are used to storm preparedness, we know that many families have moved to the coast this year from cities with high rates of COVID-19 infection. If you’re one of these new residents (or a long-time resident who just needs a refresher), we sat down and spoke to Kelly Klee President Bob Klee to talk emergency evacuation plans. What he said is that while many families do have a plan in place, there are some key elements that tend to go by the wayside.
“Don’t just rely on your phone.”
When you put an emergency evacuation plan in place, you and your family discussed things like how to shelter in place and where to meet if you get separated. You probably also have a list of important information like phone numbers and essential medications and prescriptions. However, as Klee points out, you may lose access to your phone or the internet. So, it is important to make sure you have a hard copy of all this information, as well as a digital file stored in the cloud so that you can access it even if your phone or computer are inaccessible. “For Kelly Klee customers, it’s imperative that you download our mobile app to have access to your policy information, information about your household valuables, and our access to our staff at all times.”
“Remember your household staff.”
You’ve undoubtedly thought about how to keep your family safe during a storm. But, the thought of your household staff being present during such a serious event may have slipped your mind. Klee says to talk to your staff about your evacuation plan, and make sure they understand what to do in case a storm hits. If your staff’s first language isn’t English, Klee also advises that you print out your plan for them in their native language, to make sure the plan is clear and that they can stay safe.
“Create a plan for your second home, too.”
While you have a plan for your main residence now, you also need a plan for your second home. Take the time to prepare for all scenarios, and consider the different steps or procedures that may need to be taken at that other property. Klee also says to remember to have a system in place to have the house checked on if you’re not there, either through your current management service or a trusted friend or family member who may live nearby.
“Consider how you can protect your valuables.”
Severe weather emergencies can greatly damage the valuables in your home, like fine art hanging on the walls, or wine stored in the cellar. You also have to consider the risk to other valuables, like jewelry, which may withstand the storm, but can also get picked up by looters. If you have prized collections, Klee explains that it is paramount to have them insured properly (separately scheduled rather than within your home insurance policy’s limitations). He also notes that we can help arrange an expert to pack, transport and store your valuables.
Ready to take your emergency evacuation plan to the next level? Get in touch with our experts today to make sure all of your valuables are properly insured and documented in the Kelly Klee mobile app in case of a devastating storm.