2018 Hurricane Season Is Here!
June 1st has officially arrived, and along with it, the 2018 Hurricane Season! Take a moment with your family to ensure you’re prepared for storms that may affect Chatham County. This year, Colorado State University is forecasting 14 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes. While this doesn’t guarantee we will be affected, it does support the reality that we need to be prepared.
Step one to being prepared is building your family’s emergency kit. This kit will not only help you get through a storm but will also support you with essentials during the possible lengthy recovery that could follow. Things you could include in your kit are water, non-perishable food, a weather radio, a flashlight, medications, and any other personal items you may need. For an extensive list of what you could pack, CLICK HERE.
Step two is to have a Family Evacuation Plan. Talk with family and close friends to plan out where you will go during an evacuation and how you will get there. Hotels fill up fast and are often expensive; if you know someone out of town you could stay with, reach out now to see if their home can be your predetermined evacuation location. Also, it’s not uncommon for phone lines to get tied up during an evacuation or disaster. One way you can mitigate this is by having an out-of-area contact for your family. This person can be a friend or family member that lives outside of the affected area, who you can call to update during a disaster. This person can also update you on family members in the area whom you are unable to get ahold of while evacuating. In 2017, Chatham County implemented new evacuations zones to help you evacuate safely and smoothly. For information on Chatham County’s Evacuation Zones CLICK HERE.
Step three is to check in with your insurance provider to make sure your home is properly covered for flood damage. Often, damage that occurs during a hurricane is from storm surge and is considered flood damage by home insurance providers. This means you may need a separate flood policy to be fully covered. To learn more about flood insurance or to connect with a local agent visit FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program at www.floodsmart.gov.
Step four is to protect your family by documenting your home. Taking pictures or videos of your home and your belongings on a regular basis will come in handy when submitting insurance claims following a storm. By doing this now, it is one less thing you will need to worry about when an evacuation order is issued.
Last but not least, one of the most important and easiest things you can do to protect your family is to be aware. Stay informed before, during and after an event by following CEMA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @ChathamEMA. If you would like to receive emergency alerts via text message, text “Follow ChathamEMA” to 40404.
Stay safe this hurricane season!