Planning for hurricane season and other potential natural disasters can be stressful, and doing so during the COVID-19 Pandemic adds new levels of preparation to consider. In these stressful circumstances, having quick access to supplies, finances, insurance, medical, and other personal records is crucial for quickly and efficiently, starting the process of recovery. Collecting and securing these items now will give you peace of mind in the event of an emergency. It will ensure that you have everything you need to start the recovery process without delay. With two tropical storms, Arthur and Bertha, emerging before hurricane season even begins, we want to make sure you have the information that you need to be prepared. Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Have a Plan
Get together with all household members and develop a plan of action in the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster. Make sure everyone knows their role in executing the plan to ensure that you can act quickly and effectively. Review the Emergency Management Guide for your State, as well a your local community, to consider all factors when creating your plan. Click here for South Carolina and North Carolina's Emergency Management tips and information. If you should need to evacuate, make sure you know which route is the safest and quickest for you to take. If you're planning to evacuate to an official shelter, make sure to preplan arrangements for your pets, as pets are not allowed in official shelters.
2. Gather Supplies
When preparing your emergency food, water, and medical supplies, remember to act in accordance with CDC recommended guidelines. Home delivery is the safest choice for buying supplies; however, if in-person shopping is your only choice, take steps to protect your and others' health. If it becomes necessary for you to evacuate, you'll want a prepared kit with personal items you cannot do without during an emergency. Be sure to include items that can help protect you and others from COVID-19, such as hand sanitizer, or bar or liquid soap if not available and two cloth face coverings for each person.
3. Have Your Information On-Hand
Gather financial and critical personal, household, and medical information. These will come in handy during and after a natural disaster. If you have these documents on hand, they will be easy to grab if you have to evacuate your home.
4. Stash Some Cash
Consider saving money in an emergency savings account that could be used in any crisis. Keep a small amount of cash at home in a safe place. It is important to have small bills on hand during a disaster when you need to purchase necessary supplies, fuel, or food. ATM's and credit cards may not work, so having extra cash could be essential in getting the things that you need.
5. Make Sure You're Covered
Obtain property (homeowners or renters), health, and life insurance if you do not have them. Review the amount and coverage extent of your current policies to ensure that you have all possible hazards requirements for you and your family. Homeowners insurance does not typically cover flooding, so you may need to purchase flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program.