Summer is a popular time for vacations and traveling. Whether you have your sights set on an ocean cruise, visits to see friends and family, or adventuring in far-off lands, if you're planning to be away from home this hurricane season, you'll need to take a few extra precautions. But don't worry, it'll be worth it. Hurricane preparedness is all about making sure your home and belongings are protected from severe weather systems, which tend to become more active in the summer and fall.
As a Floridian, you already know the drill: hurricane season runs June 1 through November 30 each year, and certain preparations are needed to protect your home when storms appear to be heading your way. But what happens if you're some distance away, or even out of state, when this occurs? You can still prepare ahead of time – and a few extra steps is all it takes to secure your home while you're away.
Performing the following hurricane prep before vacation will allow you to relax and enjoy family time, or the scenery wherever you're vacationing – even during hurricane season.
Insurance Coverage. Every year, you should review your homeowners insurance policy – on your own or with a trusted insurance agent – to make sure you will have the coverage you need should your home be in the path of the next major hurricane or storm surge. Ideally, this is done before hurricane season begins, but should absolutely be done before you leave on vacation.
Home Safety Measures. Whatever hurricane preparedness you might normally do if you were home when a storm was approaching, do before you leave on vacation. This includes closing/installing your hurricane shutters, trimming trees, and bringing in any outdoor furniture or other items subject to becoming projectiles during a hurricane. Doing all of this before a storm is even on the horizon might seem like overkill – but the peace of mind it provides should bad weather threaten while you're away will be priceless. Especially since you won't be able to do much from a distance.
Electronics, Water & Gas. Consider unplugging valuable electronics and appliances to avoid potential power surges as the result of a hurricane or tropical storm. Alternatively, you could opt to turn the power off at the breaker. To avoid potential leaks, you may also want to consider turning off the main water and gas valves to your home.
Inform a Trusted Neighbor or Friend. Let someone you trust know about your vacation plans, including when you'll be away, how you might be contacted, and any relevant details about your home security or other systems. They may be able to keep an eye on your home in your absence should a hurricane develop.
Ready the Emergency Kit. Stock up on the basics you'd rely on if you were home during a hurricane, such as flashlights, batteries, first-aid kits, nonperishable food, and an ample supply of bottled water. This hurricane preparedness will be helpful if you return home without power or access to supplies are limited. Store a small version of this kit in your car, and top off the tank.
Have a Backup Plan. Should you be unable to get to your home upon your return from vacation, or if your home is damaged by a hurricane or tropical storm, have a contingency plan of possible friends or nearby locations you may be able to shelter in until your home is safe to return to.
Stay Informed. Even with all the right hurricane preparedness before you leave on vacation, you'll want to monitor weather conditions from afar, especially once a hurricane or tropical storm has been identified. You'll be able to make the best decisions when they are informed by as much information – and preparation – as possible.
Be Smart: Do Your Hurricane Preparedness Before Your Vacation
There's a lot to do before vacation, we get it. Just make sure you're protecting one of your biggest investments while you're away: your home and personal belongings. The professionals at Edison Insurance Company can help. For more tips about how to best protect yourself during hurricane season, call your agent. To become an Edison policyholder, get a quote now.