Hurricane Matthew is expected to make landfall in Florida soon. While you prepare to evacuate or shelter in place, here are some helpful safety tips from The Weather Channel:
· Follow all directions and orders from local officials, and leave immediately when instructed to do so.
· Bring emergency supplies, including a first aid kit, medicines, food, water, formula and diapers, toiletries, cell phones, radios, and batteries.
· Bring extra cash and copies of important papers such as insurance policies.
· Bring blankets, sleeping bags, books, and games.
· Unplug appliances, turn off utilities such as electricity and the main water valve.
· Lock the windows and doors of your home.
· Stay at home! Leave the roads available for those who must evacuate.
· Clean your bathtub with bleach and fill it with water for washing and flushing (not drinking).
· Set your refrigerator to maximum cold and keep it closed.
· Turn off your utilities if told to do so by local officials.
· Go to an interior room and stay away from windows and doors, even though they're covered.
· During very strong winds, lie under something sturdy.
· Do not go outside, including during passage of the eye of the hurricane.
CRS is tracking and preparing for Hurricane Matthew. Our Catastrophe team is ready to assist both insurance adjusters and policyholders with immediate emergency hotel and housing assistance.
Some insurance companies are also deploying catastrophe response teams to assist with claim reports in their mobile units and call centers. Among those currently preparing include Allstate, CNA Insurance and GEICO.
Current Red Cross Shelter information: https://www.google.org/crisismap/florida_emergency_preparedness
As we begin to approach the end of summer and continue to see the widespread flooding in Louisiana and growing fires in California, we ask ourselves, “what’s next, and will my community be affected?”.
It is important to know that we are still in the midst of hurricane season, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has recently increased their hurricane estimate from 10 to 16 named storms to 12 to 17. They are now expecting five to eight of those storms to become hurricanes.
Much of the US will feel the impact of these storms. Are you prepared? Does your family have a plan in place in case your home or community are flooded? Do you have flood insurance?
Even if you’re located in a part of the country not commonly impacted by hurricanes, sudden microbursts, severe thunderstorms and melting snow can also lead to flooding. Don’t hesitate to prepare in advance; the best time to put a flood plan in place is when it’s not flooding.
Here’s a few tips on what you can do now to be better prepared for flooding throughout the year:
- Know your flood risk. (www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pages/flooding_flood_risks/understanding_your_risk.jsp)
- Make a flood emergency plan. (www.ready.gov/make-a-plan)
- Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies. (www.ready.gov/kit)
- Consider buying flood insurance.
- Familiarize yourself with local emergency plans. Know where to go and how to get there should you need to get to higher ground, the highest level of a building, or to evacuate.
- Stay tuned to your phone alerts, TV, or radio for weather updates, emergency instructions, or evacuation orders.
How will I know when a potential flood is coming?
The last bullet point above advises us to stay informed by phone, TV and radio for weather updates. It’s necessary to understand the terminology you are hearing:
Flood Watch = “Be Aware.” Conditions are right for flooding to occur in your area.
Flood Warning = “Take Action!” Flooding is either happening or will happen shortly.
Educating yourself and your family about potential flooding can be one of the most important things you do.