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Rising Waters: Preparing for a Flood

Are you prepared for a flood? You can't control Mother Nature, but you can protect your home and family. Learn the ins and outs of flood insurance and how you can prepare for rising waters.



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Prepare for Severe Spring Weather

Prepare for Severe Spring Weather

May 30, 2024

The weather is getting warmer and summer is just ahead of us. As temperatures begin to fluctuate, weather patterns can become unstable, leading to storms and unpredictable forecasts including thunderstorms, tornadoes, lightning, flooding, heat waves, and rip currents at the beach. As we navigate the change in seasons, it’s imperative we prepare in advance to protect ourselves and our property(s).

Taking time now to prepare our property(s) to sustain high winds or heavy rain can prevent household costs or expensive claims. Here are a few tips to ensure your property is prepared for severe spring weather:

  • Clean out debris from your gutters. Over the winter, leaves, sticks and dirt may have accumulated in your gutters, which blocks your drains and downspouts.With heavy rain, this buildup of water can overflow into your gutter, and spill under your eave, possibly causing damage and leaks with your roof.  You also want to make sure water can flow easily so it drains away from your house.
  • Trim trees.Make sure to trim loose branches, and broken limbs that can fall and cause damage to cars, the exterior of your home or pull-down power lines during heavy wind gusts.
  • Check your sump pump (if your basement has one) to make sure it’s cleaned out, won’t clog when the ground is saturated, and it’s draining properly.It’s also a good idea to consider installing new moisture barriers or waterproof foundations before wet weather comes.
  • Secure outside patio/garden furniture.Patio furniture, garden benches and other outdoor living features can become projectiles with large wind gusts.  Stow away your outdoor furniture and yard items so they won’t damage your home’s exterior.
  • Secure shutters or place coverings on windows. If your home doesn’t have storm shutters, make sure other shutters and windows are secure so you can protect from flying debris and broken glass.

Next, it is important to make sure your family and household are prepared for what you’ll need should you find yourself without power, or without the ability to leave your home for several days in the event of a storm.

  • Build a family emergency kit that contains enough supplies for each member of your family for 3 days. Items include food, water, first aid items, flashlights, necessary medicines, pet supplies, battery or solar powered weather radios, hand sanitizer and/or wipes.Make sure the kit is kept in a central location where everyone knows where it is stored.  Also establish a safe space in the home during a weather emergency to ride out the storm, away from doors or windows (such as in a first floor bathroom or basement). 
  • Charge your cell phones and mobile devices as well as mobile charging devices in advance (like Anker or Mophie) of possible power outages. Have power cords to connect to those devices while power is out.
  • Plan and Communicate - Be sure family member are aware before a weather event, exactly what the family plan is in case of a storm.Everyone should know where to meet and under what conditions and what time.
  • Stay informed of weather conditions - watch weather forecasts, follow weather apps, and local town emergency messaging.

Stay In the Know of Weather Patterns and Forecasts:

The NOAA (The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) predicts an 85% chance of an above-normal 2024 Atlantic Hurricane season, so follow their app to see the latest on named storm forecasts and seasonal outlooks.  The hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30 and the forecast for this season predicts a range of 17 to 25 named storms (which means winds of 39 mph or higher). Of those 8 to 13 are forecast to develop into hurricane status (which means winds of 74mph or higher), and this includes 4 to 7 major hurricanes (that would be categorized as a 3, 4 or 5, meaning the hurricane carries winds of 111mph or higher). In addition, La Nina conditions are present due to warmer ocean temperatures conditions in the Pacific and less Atlantic trade winds. These conditions can bring about more tropical storm formations.

Apps and Websites to Download or Follow:

  • Check the website or app of FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) for a list of necessary emergency items for your household kit.
  • Keep the National Weather Service as an app on your phone to follow the latest seasonal alerts.
  • The NOAA (The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) has live weather reports and radar to follow storm paths.
  • The Weather Channel or Storm Tracker as well as local new station apps track weather patterns and provide live weather forecasts around the U.S.

Severe Weather is a reality, but if you are prepared in advance and take some time to properly plan, your inconvenience and expense can be minimized.  Should you have questions about your coverage and policy, be sure to call 910-868-3500 or visit www.hurleyinsurancegroup.com for more information.