Hurricane and Disaster Preparation
Hurricane Preparedness Center
Proactive planning is essential to keeping yourself and your loved ones safe during a hurricane. The Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1 and goes through November 30. The Middle Atlantic and New England states are prone to major storms. Here are some guidelines and tips to help you be prepared for the next time a storm heads our way. Let’s get hurricane ready together.
As the storm approaches, it is often too late to get ready. Before hurricane season, make sure you:
- Know your zone. Evacuations are more common than people realize. Make yourself familiar with your community’s evacuation zones, so you’ll know exactly where to go. Remember: if a hurricane threatens your community and local officials say it’s time to evacuate, don’t hesitate – “get the hell off the beach” and go early.
- Complete a family communication plan. Plan how you will assemble your family and loved ones, and anticipate where you will go for different situations. Get together with your family and agree on the ways to contact one another in an emergency, identify meeting locations, and make a Family Emergency Communication Plan.
- Download the FEMA app. The FEMA App includes disaster resources, weather alerts, safety tips, and a new feature that will enable users to receive push notifications to their devices to prepare their homes and families for disasters. The app also provides a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, maps of open shelters and recovery centers, tips on how to survive disasters, and weather alerts from the National Weather Service.
- Check your insurance coverage. Many states have increased deductibles for hurricanes and not all hurricane-related losses are covered under traditional policies. Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damage or losses from flooding. Review your policy, ensure you’re adequately covered and understand exclusions, and contact your agent for any changes. If you’re not insured against flood, talk to your agent or visit http://www.floodsmart.gov/. Renter’s insurance policies are also available and should be considered as a way of protecting your belongings.
Build Your Emergency Kit
Stock supplies that will keep you and your family comfortable without basic services for at least three days. Your kit should be stored in a safe place and include, at a minimum:
- Water (one gallon per person, per day)
- Nonperishable food, with manual can opener
- One blanket or sleeping bag per person
- First-aid kit
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Emergency tools (wrench to shut off utilities; multipurpose knife)
- Whistle to signal for help
- Toiletries (sanitation and personal hygiene items)
- Local maps
- Cell phone with backup chargers
- Pet supplies (food, water, leash, medication and plastic bags)
We encourage all of our clients who suffered storm damage to register and file a claim with FEMA – even if you have flood insurance. There are multiple ways to do this:
By phone: 1-800-621-3362
FAQs from a Flood Adjuster
The Small Business Administration offers easy to qualify low interest loans for businesses AND individuals who need funds to rebuilt or replace. They recommend that you apply and secure the line of credit or loan, even if you are not sure that you’ll need or use the funds. There are no fees to apply and unsecured, long term loans are available.
Main Street Disaster Relief Program
2012 Hurricane and Tropical Storm Recovery Assistance Information for Small Businesses
Financial Resources for Business Recovery
NJ State Portal for NJ Businesses
Department of Insurance & Banking
New Jersey Homeowners whose properties have been damaged by floodwaters but do not have flood insurance, and where homeowners insurance doesn’t provide coverage, may be eligible for a special HUD 203K loan program providing money to rebuild their homes at very low-interest rates.
To learn more: go to www.hud.gov