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As every Floridian is likely aware, hurricane season is upon us once again! The 2016 Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th. Regions covered include the North Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. However, it’s important to remember that coastal areas are not the only places where hurricanes can cause damage, as locations far away from coastlines can also be threatened by dangerous flooding and destructive winds.

According to the National Weather Service, the major hazards posed by hurricanes include surge flooding, inland flooding from heavy rains, destructive winds and high surf and rip currents. Here are a few seasonal safety tips from Darr Schackow Insurance to help ensure that you, your family and your home remain secure this hurricane season.

  1. Find Out Now What Dangers May Be in Store for Your Location. Don’t wait until the rain starts coming down! Consult your local weather sources today or visit http://www.noaa.gov/ to determine what wind and/or water hazards are predicted for the area you live in. Then, begin preparing ahead of time for how to handle them.
  2. Develop a Plan to Evacuate Your Family. Do you live in a hurricane evacuation zone? If so, figure out ahead of time where you’ll plan to go and how exactly you’ll get there in the case instructions are released to evacuate. Be sure all of your family members are aware of your plan and that everyone is on the same page. Even if you do not live in an immediate evacuation zone, it’s a good idea to make a plan. Also, be sure to plan ahead with a friend or family member who doesn’t live near an evacuation zone so that you can use their home as an evacuation destination should the need arise.
  3. Make Sure You’re Covered. Would your existing homeowners insurance policy be sufficient to cover significant repairs and renovations in the case of damage caused by a hurricane? Would it provide enough coverage to even replace your entire home if the worst were to happen? It is vital that you look into this, as most standard homeowners policies do not even cover flooding. Don’t wait any longer to act, as hurricane season has already arrived and flood insurance nearly always requires at least a 30-day waiting period. Your DSI agent will be happy to walk you through the required steps to add the homeowners coverage you need to be fully prepared.
  4. Is Your Home Ready? Take steps today to be sure that your home is in good condition and that it meets or exceeds all local hurricane building code specifications. Make any repairs you may have been putting off that could cause damage during a storm, such as fixing cracks in ceilings, walls or floorboards. Have supplies of plywood, steel and/or aluminum siding panels on-hand in case you need to board up any windows or doors during a storm.
  5. Stock Up on Emergency Supplies. It’s a good rule to make sure you have enough drinking water and non-perishable food on-hand to last each member of your family a minimum of ten days. Also purchase an extra supply of needed medications ahead of time and be sure to have a fully-stocked first-aid kit, as well. Additionally, you should keep flashlights, tarps, batteries and a battery-powered radio and money in the form of cash. Importantly, you should also invest in a solar powered USB charger so that cell phones can continue to be used even in the case of power outages.

Use these tips to get prepared today - before a hurricane hits! For additional tips or assistance with your insurance coverage, give your DSI agent a call at (888) 337-9322.
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