Hurricanes can rock the Atlantic seaboard from June to September and beyond. With the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasting between 5 and 9 hurricanes this year, it’s important to be prepared. You likely plan to stock up on essential items if and when you hear that a hurricane is headed this way, but should you be doing anything now to prepare for a major storm?
The right preparations can help make hurricane season less stressful, more comfortable, and safer. Here are 4 things you can do now to help you prepare for a future hurricane.
1.) Install a Generator
You know how inconvenient it is to lose electricity for an extended period of time. Much of the food in your house is likely dependent on power. Without electricity you can’t run a fridge, freezer, or microwave, and many homes have electric stoves and ovens as well. Many people rely on electricity to work from home as well. Installing a generator can help ease the stress of a hurricane and allow you to establish a bit of normalcy.
A generator can provide you with the following during a power outage:
- Heat and air conditioning
- Food refrigeration
- Ability to prepare food
- Ability to work from home
- Wi-Fi (if your internet provider isn’t also down)
- Ability to charge devices and make phone calls
- Access to well water
While generators can be expensive, there are financing options available. A generator loan can help you install a home generator now, so you’ll be prepared whenever a hurricane may strike in the future.
2.) Consider Hurricane Insurance
A hurricane can significantly damage or even destroy your home. Hurricanes routinely cause flooding in areas that are not otherwise prone to floods. This can result in hurricane-related damage not being covered by your typical homeowners insurance policy. If you don’t already have dedicated flood insurance policy, you may consider purchasing one through the National Flood Insurance Program, especially if your home is located in an area that has seen storm-related flooding in the past.
3.) Create an Emergency Fund
A hurricane can cause many unplanned expenses, including temporary lodging, supplies, repairs, and replacement of spoiled food. Any property damage not covered by insurance will also need to be paid for out of pocket. And even if hurricane-related damage is covered by insurance, you’ll likely still have to pay a deductible. A severe hurricane can also cause injuries or disruption to the local economy, both of which could result in you or loved ones being unexpectedly out of work.
Given all of this, it's a good idea to establish an emergency fund. If you already have a dedicated fund for emergencies, ensure that you’re actively contributing to it each month. If you don’t yet have an emergency fund, it’s never too late to start one. Consider opening a dedicated savings account for your emergency funds so you can keep them separate from the rest of your budget. It is typically recommended that an emergency fund should contain at least three months’ worth of living expenses, so the sooner you start saving the better!
4. ) Get a Safe Deposit Box
A safe deposit box can be used to store many types of important items, including valuables, heirlooms, birth certificates, property deeds, wills, and more. A safe deposit box is typically located within a vault at a bank, making it a very secure option for safekeeping. Most safe deposit boxes are designed to withstand natural disasters, but it’s important to note that the contents of a safe deposit box are not covered by the bank’s FDIC insurance.
Hurricanes often strike without much warning. However, it's never too late (or too soon) to start preparing. The more forethought you give to hurricane preparedness, the better off you’ll be when one is headed your way. To learn more about financing a generator, opening a new savings account, or purchasing a safe deposit box, contact us today.