Metropolitan Insurance

What to do before, during and after a hurricane

What to do before, during and after a hurricane? Hurricane season is upon us. Being prepared and knowing what to do in the event of a hurricane, as with any type of storm, is the key to staying alive.

The damage left behind after a hurricane can be devastating and very costly. The most important thing to remember with any type of storm: you and your family’s safety is the number one priority! Material possessions can be replaced — a human life cannot.

Before the hurricane

Unlike a tornado, a hurricane can be tracked for days or even weeks before it hits, giving you time to prepare your home, your family and yourself for the storm. Here. are a few things you can do to get ready before a hurricane

 Know where to tune in for weather updates when a hurricane watch or hurricane warning has been posted. Watch the weather reports on your television or check the weather reports online at Having a weather radio is a great backup resource in the event of a power outage. Make sure to have plenty of batteries.

Always have your cell phone charged completely. If you know bad weather is headed your way, charge your phone and try to keep it charged at a 100%. In the event of an evacuation, make sure to have a waterproof way to carry your cell phone.

Have a 72-hour emergency kit packed and ready to grab on your way out to safety. Every member of the family should have one. Check out this great article on how you can assemble the perfect 72 hour kit.

Have a family meeting to discuss what you and your family will do in the case of an evacuation. It is important to include EVERY family member, even the little ones.

If flooding occurs, move your valuable property to higher locations in your home, if time permits. Move yourself and your pets to higher ground or shelter.

During the hurricane

Although you may think that once a storm hits there’s nothing you can do, but that’s not necessarily true. Here are a few actions you can take to keep yourself and your loved ones safe in the midst of a hurricane.

If you are advised to evacuate, don’t wait! The longer you wait the more hectic traffic becomes. Being stuck in traffic can propose a whole new emergency situation.

Avoid flooded roads. Six inches of water is all it takes to float a car. Keep an eye out for flood compromised or washed out bridges.

Make sure someone outside the storm area knows where you will be and how to reach you.

If you do not evacuate, stay indoors and off the roads. Stay away from windows and doors.

 If power is lost, unplug all electrical appliances to prevent damage from power surge when service resumes.

Keep emergency supplies (your 72-hour kit) ready to go.

 Listen to local radio for changes in the weather situation and instructions.

Be sure to lock your home and take emergency supplies, clothing, and bedding with you.

After the hurricane

Continue to monitor local radio for information.

 Return home only after authorities have announced it is safe to do so. When you re enter your home, do so cautiously. Check for displaced wildlife such as snakes. If necessary, open doors and windows to ventilate and help dry your home.

Give first aid where necessary. Do not move a seriously injured person unless they are in imminent danger. Call for emergency help.

Watch for and avoid downed power lines.

Avoid using the phone except in emergency. This will keep the phones free for authorities and those in more dire straits.

Check for damaged electrical wiring. Look for sparks or frayed wires. Hot or melting wiring insulation cause an acrid smell. If you notice any damage, cut off the power at the fuse or circuit breaker box, but do not touch the box if you have to stand in water. In the latter case you should check with an electrician.

Avoid using candles, kerosene lamps, or other open flame sources for heat or light. Candles cause more fires after a disaster than any other source. If you must, then take extreme care in order to keep pets, children, and combustibles away from the flame.

 Leave the house if you smell or hear the hiss of leaking gas. If you can, turn off the gas line at the cut off valve outside your home. Call the utility company from your cell or from another location.

Have the water lines and other checked by a plumber. If you think there has been any damage, avoid using toilets and do not drink the tap water.

Take photos of any damaged items. Place damaged items outside if they cannot be salvaged but try to avoid discarding them until they have been looked at by an insurance adjuster.