HURRICANE 411:  Preparedness Info and Insurance Tips

HURRICANE 411: Preparedness Info and Insurance Tips

Hurricane season officially begins May 15 on the Eastern Pacific, June 1st on both the Atlantic and Central Pacific, and runs through November 30th.

Tropical storms can quickly develop into a hurricane with winds often exceeding 155 mph and trigger inland tornadoes, severe flooding, and catastrophic property damage.

These resources may help those living along coastal areas to be prepared in order to properly respond and know what to do in case a hurricane strikes in your area.

 

How to Determine the 5 Hurricane Categories

from National Hurricane Center – Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale

 

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a 1 to 5 rating based on a hurricane’s sustained wind speed. This scale estimates potential property damage. Hurricanes reaching Category 3 and higher are considered major hurricanes because of their potential for significant loss of life and damage. Category 1 and 2 storms are still dangerous, however, and require preventative measures. In the western North Pacific, the term “super typhoon” is used for tropical cyclones with sustained winds exceeding 150 mph.

 

Category 1 – Hurricane winds of 74-95 mph

  • 74-95 mph winds
  • Very Dangerous Winds Will Produce Some Property Damage
  • Well constructed frame homes could sustain storm damage to the roof, shingles, vinyl siding, and gutters.
  • Large branches of trees will snap and shallowly rooted trees may be toppled.
  • Extensive damage to power lines and poles likely will result in power outages that could last a few to several days.

Category 2 – Hurricane winds of 96-110 mph

  • 96-110 mph winds
  • Extremely Dangerous Winds Will Cause Extensive Property Damage
  • Well constructed frame homes could sustain major roof and siding damage.
  • Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads.
  • Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks.

Category 3 – Major Hurricane winds of 111-129 mph

  • 111-129 mph winds
  • Devastating Property Damage Will Occur
  • Well built frame homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends.
  • Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads.
  • Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes.

Category 4 – Major Hurricane winds of 130-156 mph (Super Typhoon 150+ mph)

  • 130-156 mph winds
  • Catastrophic Property Damage Will Occur
  • Well built frame homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls.
  • Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed.
  • Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas.
  • Power outages will last weeks to possibly months.
  • Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

Category 5 – Major Hurricane winds of 157+ mph

  • 157+ mph winds
  • Catastrophic Property Damage Will Occur
  • A high percentage of frame homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse.
  • Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas.
  • Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months.
  • Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.
Reference:  National Hurricane Center – Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale

 

 

Things to Know About Your Insurance Policy

Before Disaster Strikes

 

Did you know that insurance companies stop writing policies after a storm has been named?

Watch these videos from the Insurance Information Institute (iii) to learn more about your homeowner’s insurance policy and the facts about additional flood or hurricane insurance before it’s too late.

 

VIDEO: Homeowner’s Insurance Information

The i’s on Insurance: Your Homeowner’s Coverage – iii Insurance Information Institute

 

MORE HURRICANE INSURANCE RESOURCE LINKS

 

 

What to Do During a Hurricane

from Ready.gov/hurricanes

If a hurricane is likely in your area, you should:

  • Listen to the radio or TV for information.
  • Secure your home, close storm shutters and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
  • Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
  • Turn off propane tanks.
  • Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies.
  • Moor your boat if time permits.
  • Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purpose such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other larger containers with water.
  • Find out how to keep food safe during and after and emergency.

You should evacuate under the following conditions:

If you are directed by local authorities to do so. Be sure to follow their instructions.

  • If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure – such shelter are particularly hazardous during hurricane no matter how well fastened to the ground.
  • If you live in a high-rise building – hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations.
  • If you live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on an island waterway.
Read more about evacuating yourself and your family. If you are unable to evacuate, go to your wind-safe room. If you do not have one, follow these guidelines:
  • Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
  • Close all interior doors – secure and brace external doors.
  • Keep curtains and blinds closed. Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm – winds will pick up again.
  • Take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest level.
  • Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.
  • Avoid elevators.

Resource: Ready.gov/hurricanes

 

 

VIDEO: Hurricane Preparedness – Hurricane Survival Tips

How to Survive a Hurricane – Howcast

 

VIDEO: Hurricane Preparedness – Wireless Emergency Alerts

Flood Safety: Wireless Emergency Alerts – U.S. National Weather Service

 

VIDEO: Hurricane Preparedness – How to Board-Up a Window

Boarding Up Windows with Plywood – Hurricane Preparedness – Lowe’s Home Improvement

 

VIDEO SERIES:  NHC Hurricane Preparedness Week – U.S. National Weather Service

 

MORE HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS WEEK 2014 RESOURCES