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MoneyTalk 1010 Storm Center

TAMPA BAY, Florida – The Bay area might be safe from Dorian’s destructive path, but hurricane season runs through to November 30. Were you prepared for Irma ion 2017? Would you have been prepared for Dorian had it pummeled the Tampa Bay area? Be ready for the next storm with these safety tips.

  1. Find out how much you and your property are at risk.
    • Use the FEMA Map Service to assess the flood risk in your community, then use that information to reference your home insurance policy and if your policy will protect you.
  2. Prepare your emergency kit.
    • Be sure to include a first aid kit, extra batteries, flashlights, and a 7-day supply of food and water. Don’t forget you and your family’s necessary medications. Cell phone towers and electricity will be at high risk and might stop working, so be sure to have a battery-powered TV or radio to keep updated on the storm’s path and progress.
  3. Establish a family communications plan.
    • If you and your family are separated, have a specific plan for how you will communicate and locate each other.
  4. Plan an evacuation route in case you are forced out of your home by deteriorating conditions.
    • Check the Red Cross website for shelters. Check if the accept pets and animals if you have any.
  5. Secure your home.
    • Shut off any propane tanks, tie-down or store outdoor furniture and loose objects that can be hazardous if blown away.
  6. Check the details of your home insurance policy.
    • Talk to your insurance agent to be sure you have adequate coverage if a flood affects your property.
  7. Protect your financial and important documents.
    • Have identification and financial documents will be necessary to begin the recovery process if a disaster is the result of a storm. Use bank safety deposit boxes, computer storage devices and/or waterproof storage containers
      • Driver’s license, birth certificates, passports, etc
      • Financial account information
      • Insurance policies on personal property, appraisals, photos of valuable items
      • Deeds, titles, vehicle registrations, rental agreements, etc
      • All health and medical information and insurance documentation

The Atlantic hurricane season runs every year from May 20-November 30. That is 194 days per year that Floridians and others living along the Atlantic coast are at risk of a natural catastrophe. That’s 53% of the year. Let that sink in.

Being prepared ahead of time can seriously relieve families of stress, confusion, and possible tragedy. Waiting until the last minute to prepare for a natural disaster does quite the opposite.

By Marc Charles for Money Talk Radio

Sources: ABA, Red Cross

Marc Charles has worked in Radio since 2005. Marc has been active in media in Detroit, Ohio, Canada, and Florida. When he's not blogging for Money Talk Radio, he covers UFC. Follow Marc on social media @TheLegalManMarc & @TheOctagram.