Feasterville-Trevose, PA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 09/17/2018 -- When disaster strikes, sometimes orders to evacuate are issued from the local or state government. But how do you prepare your home for evacuation in the face of a hurricane?
Before the Storm
Before leaving make sure to pack an emergency kit to bring with you. This should include a money, three days' worth of food and water, and any medicine. It should be noted that the 3 days' worth of water and food should be for both people and any pets. If any of your family members has special needs, be sure to account for that in your planning. Family members should agree upon a meeting spot. If cellphone service is interrupted or cell phones die, then a family should have an agreed upon area to meet up at.
Always make copies of important documents to take with you. These should include: social security cards, drivers' licenses. Passports, prescriptions, tax statements, and other legal documents. These copies should be uploaded to the internet, taken with you, or stored in a fireproof, watertight container. Irreplaceable keepsakes should be taken with you when evacuating. Other items or items that are too big should be moved to higher elevations, whether that be another level of the house or to a high shelf.
One major question is: what do to do with the food in the refrigerator or freezer. For this the FDA suggests switching the refrigerator and freezer to their coldest possible settings and moving everything into the freezer. This ensures that the food will stay colder for longer. A tightly packed freezer will stay cold for at least 48 hours when power is lost. If not, everything can be fit into the freezer then containers of ice should be placed in the fridge. Thermometers should be kept in the fridge and freezer to keep track of the temperatures. Food that has remained at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below is safe to consume. Items in the pantry and a supply of bottled water should be moved to a higher space to keep safe from floodwater.
Though a homeowner should be aware at all times of any chemicals in their home, a homeowner should also take stock before evacuating their home. All potentially dangerous chemicals, i.e. bleach, ammonia, and drain cleans, should have tightly closed lids and should be moved to high shelves as far from potential flooding as possible. If any chemicals would get into the water, they could be hazardous to someone's health and could potentially cause a fire or explosion.
All electronics, small appliances, portable heating systems, and other electronics with wires should be moved to upper levels of the home or to high shelves. They should be moved as far from the water as possible. Generators should be kept away from moisture as well.
The outside of a home should also be taken care of before evacuation. Tree branches should be trimmed and safely disposed of. Rain gutters and downspouts should be secured while clogged areas should be cleaned out. Bikes, trash cans, outdoor furniture. Grills, tanks, and building materials should be secured or tied down. Windows should be boarded up to prevent leaks and broken glass. Doors should also be secured with storm shutters.
After the Storm
Do not enter your home until officials say that it is safe to do so. To avoid electrical hazards from the flooding, the electricity should be turned off.
Bottled water and food that is canned or well packaged are safe for consumption after a flood. The CDC advises homeowners to throw away any food that may have encountered flood water. Canned food that encountered flood water should have their labels removed and then they should be washed thoroughly. If fresh bottled water is not easily accessible, then it is advisable to boil water.
Hazardous chemicals, mold, asbestos and lead paint all pose potential dangers after a flood. Because of this, homeowners should wear protective gear, gloves, eye protection, and face masks to try to clean up or enter any flood damaged property. Before cleanup begins the homeowner should take photos of the home and contact AAA Public Adjusters. All water damaged items should be aired out to reduce the potential for mold.
It should be noted that insurance companies will only cover flood under certain conditions. In the event of a hurricane, insurance companies usually only cover the loss if the homeowner has flood insurance or a sump pump with the correct endorsement on their policy. However, wind damage due to the hurricane would be covered under a basic homeowner's insurance policy.
Have you had a loss at your house due to an hurricane? If so, request a free consultation with a public adjuster in New Jersey, PA, DE or MD by filling out a contact form on our website, or by calling 1-800-410-5054 today.
About AAA Public Adjusters
AAA Public Adjusters, LLC, is a property loss consulting firm headquartered in Philadelphia, PA. Additional offices are located throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Florida, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and North Carolina. AAA Public Adjusters have been fighting insurance companies for over 25 years. AAA Public Adjusters, Maximizing Your Claim!
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