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Preparation Made Simple
Being prepared for the start of storm and hurricane season can feel like a big chore! But it is important that renters and homeowners are ready, and not just those on the coasts of South Carolina! Inland dwellers can be impacted significantly by hurricanes, from flooding to tornadoes, being ready is important for everyone in our state.
Here are some ways you can be prepared this season. For a complete guide to preparedness, visit the SCEMD's hurricane guide.
Know what your specific risks are.
Both coastal and inland residents need to be aware of their risks when it comes to storms and hurricanes. Take some time to determine what your area is at risk for. This could include such events as:
- Storm surge
- Strong winds
- Rainfall and flooding
- Rip currents
Complete a written plan.
Don’t just think or talk about what you would do in the event of a hurricane, write the plan down and share it with your family so that when the time comes, everyone knows what to do. Things to include in your plan:
- A contact list for family and friends
- Have at least one contact outside the impacted area
- Pick a place to meet up with your household in the event you are all separated
- Include family pets in your plan
Assemble disaster supplies.
Having an emergency kit on hand is one of the best ways to be prepared. Include such things as:
- Food and water for you and your family, including your pets
- Medicines and prescriptions
- Weather radio, batteries, and chargers
- Store your essential documents in a waterproof container
Develop an evacuation plan.
If authorities urge you to evacuate, do so! Your desire to just ride out the storm is not worth risking your life or the lives of those who will have to come to rescue you. Make sure your evacuation plan includes:
- Knowing which evacuation zone you live in
- Have your emergency kit with you in the event you get stranded
- Make sure you have planned accordingly for your pets. It can help to make a list of pet-friendly shelters and hotels further inland so that during the rush of the emergency you know where to seek a place to stay
Strengthen your home.
There are things you can do before a storm even forms to prepare your home to withstand damage. There are also things you can do right before a storm that would help limit damages. These things include:
- Prior to a storm, trim trees around your home and neighbor’s home or fencing
- Install hurricane shutters
- Clean out gutters and drainage pipes
- As you prepare for an approaching storm, secure all windows and doors with plywood
- Secure outdoor items like patio furniture that could cause damage if picked up by the wind
- Move your car to a safe location such as inside your garage or away from trees that could cause damage
Get an insurance checkup.
No one likes costly surprises, that is why it is important to review your insurance to make sure you have the right coverage for your needs. Things you can do:
- Check with a trusted insurance agent or company to review any changes you may need to make to your policy coverage
- Know what is and isn’t covered
- Make a home inventory list of all items and costs in each room of your home so that if you need to file a claim for damaged belongings you don’t have to guess at what you’ve lost
- Homeowner’s and renter’s insurance doesn’t cover flood damage. Consider if flood insurance is right for you.
- Keep a copy of your insurance policy in a waterproof container and keep it with you during a disaster if possible, as this will help make the claims process go a lot smoother