Preparing for Hurricane Season in Massachusetts
The best time to plan for a hurricane is long before one heads your way. Massachusetts might not have the same issues Florida and other hurricane-prone states do, but we are still at risk of the effects of a hurricane making landfall.
Before hurricane season arrives on June 1, make sure you, your family, and your home are ready.
Getting Your Home Ready
Even in a seemingly minor storm, damage to your home is always a possibility. Hurricanes turn that up several notches. The best way to avoid big claims and bigger damage is to get your home ready now.
- Trim or remove any trees or limbs that may be dead or damaged. In high winds, these can fly through the air, come through a window, knock down fences, or fall on your roof.
- Secure any loose gutters and downspouts so they don’t present the same problem as trees and limbs.
- While you’re at it, clean your gutters and downspouts making sure they’re free of clogs. If water can’t flow easily through them, it could cause flooding or foundational issues for your house.
- Consider purchasing a generator for your home. You can have one installed for your entire house or just buy a portable generator. Remember - A portable generator must be kept at least 20 feet from your home.
- If you don’t have flood insurance, get it now. There’s a 30 day waiting period for flood insurance, and once a storm has been named, no policies can be written.
Keep Your Family Safe
Your family is more important than your home so make sure you have a plan to keep everyone safe and sound during a hurricane.
- Put together an evacuation plan so that you know where you’ll go if a hurricane heads your way. You may want to test your plan on a random day before there’s a threat of a storm so you know where you’re going and how you’ll get there.
- Put together a disaster supply kit. It should include, at minimum, flashlights, batteries, a first aid kit, copies of your important documents, and some cash.
- Before hurricane season starts, put together your hurricane supply kit. This is what you’ll use if you decide to ride out a storm: enough water for each person in your home for at least three days, nonperishable food items, a manual can opener, paper and plastic utensils and plates, and a solar or battery powered radio. Do it now and you’ll avoid the big rush at the grocery store.
When a Storm Heads Your Way
Once you’ve got a plan, the rest is just a matter of the small details, but they can be very important right before a storm. When you know a storm is heading your way, regardless of whether you evacuate or stay, there’s still more to do.
- Let any family and friends outside of the area know what your hurricane plan is. If you’re evacuating, tell them where. If you’re staying put, make sure as many people as possible know.
- Gas up all of your vehicles and fill any gas cans you may have. Make sure to store this extra gas safely.
- Fill any prescriptions that may be close to empty in case services are down for a while after the storm.
- Don’t forget your family pets - have a plan, find a pet-friendly hurricane shelter, and stock up on food and water for them, too.
There’s no way to know until a storm hits how bad it might be. Do as much as you can before the threat becomes real, and you’ll be able to stay calm during the storm.
If you need flood insurance or want to find out exactly what your current policy covers, contact us at Ross Insurance.