We Florida Financial, P.O. Box 14548, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33302
It’s hurricane season. This year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is forecasting a 70% chance of 13 to 19 named storms with six to 10 becoming hurricanes. Floridians are always being urged to make preparations. Most of us do, to some degree. This year however, things have changed. We are in the midst of a pandemic that shows no signs of abating. Under these circumstances, we need to make changes to our usual hurricane preparation plans. Here are some suggestions on how to proceed:
Have a plan
Many of us have a vague idea of what we will do in the event of a hurricane but it is just that, loose thoughts and not a real course of action. Make a written plan that includes possible evacuation, helping family members with special needs and caring for your pets. All households might want to prepare a “go-kit” which includes important documents and medications. We should also be aware that because of social distancing, many shelters will be able to house far less evacuees than they would normally take. Such situations might rule out nearby facilities.
In Florida and elsewhere, many stores are enforcing customer physical distancing and operating for fewer hours. It therefore makes sense to purchase supplies early, before the approach of a storm when public panicking sets in. It also makes sense to stock up on even more non-perishable food items if they are available since these will be gone in a flash if there is even the slightest hint of an impending storm.
Amend your shopping list
This year, hurricane lists should include items like masks (two per family member is recommended by the CDC), extra soap, hand sanitizers, wipes and personal protective equipment like gloves.
Get a hold of your insurance representative
Before a hurricane approaches, homeowners should contact their agents to make sure that their insurance policies are appropriate and will give them the coverage they need. This is the right time to contact your agent since he or she might be working from a remote location and not easily available.
Prepare your car
In the rush to get your home ready, do not neglect your car. Make sure your tank is filled before a potential rush. Also, be sure to keep in your vehicle, an emergency kit with cleaning supplies, extra masks and gloves.
Don’t neglect financial preparation
Be sure to get extra cash before the storm approaches. It might be a good idea to also get some coins in case you have to use a vending machine. Take photos of essential financial and other documents and email them to family and friends. If your home is flooded or you lose your “go-kit”, someone else will be able help retrieve these papers. Finally, you might want to download apps for your financial institution so all your contacts are in one place if needed.
If you need information or assistance, be sure to call We Florida Financial at 954-745-2400. We have been with you for almost 70 years and stand ready to help. Stay safe.