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Preparing for a hurricane: Tips for staying
safe during the 2010 hurricane season

Tips for staying safe during the 2010 hurricane season

Hurricane season is upon us once again. 21st Century Insurance wants to make sure all of its customers - especially those living in coastal areas of the United States - are prepared.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the 2010 hurricane season is gearing up to be an "active to extremely active" one, particularly in the Atlantic Coastal Basin. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center has indicated that there may be as many as 23 named storms this year. To help reduce the risk and impact of these storms, look below for a few, precautionary measures for your home and to help your family prepare for the worst:

Develop a family disaster plan

The most important thing you and your family can do is be prepared. A good plan will help ensure that your family knows what to do if the worst should happen. Some simple steps include:

  • Discuss the types of hazards that could affect your family. Know your home’s vulnerability to flooding and wind.

  • Locate the safest areas of your home - or - the safest place in your community in case of a hurricane.

  • Determine escape routes from your home and places to meet.

  • Have an out-of-state friend or family contact, so all your family members have a single point of contact.

  • Post emergency numbers by your phones.

  • Have a plan for what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate. This includes having a pet carrier for each animal, if applicable. Make sure your pet has a collar with identification and that you have a recent photo in case it gets lost.

Create a disaster supply kit

The following list contains items you can pack early and have ready in case of an emergency:

  • Water

  • First Aid kit and medicines

  • Non-perishable food items, snacks and disposable utensils

  • Blankets and pillows

  • Flashlight and batteries

  • A battery-operated, weather band radio

  • A small tool set

Also, keep a full tank of gas in your car in case you need to evacuate immediately.

Have a place to go

While creating your family disaster plan, one item that should be discussed is where to go when you evacuate. Here a few things to consider while preparing to evacuate:

  • Do not delay your departure. As soon as an evacuation is given, leave immediately.

  • Keep your travel distance to a minimum. Try to select an evacuation destination that is nearest to your home. Remember that hotels and other commercial destinations could fill up quickly, especially in storm that affects a large area.

  • Be patient while traveling. Evacuations caused by extreme weather will probably cause massive delays and congestion.

  • If staying at a hotel, make reservations before you leave. The longer you wait to make a reservation, the less likely you will find a vacancy.

Other things to keep in mind

  • Although severe weather from a hurricane directly impacts coastal areas, wind and flooding from the storm can impact people living hundreds of miles inland.

  • Remember, if you need to drive during severe weather; do not drive through flooded roads. Water can be deeper than it appears. Also, stay alert for high winds and flying debris.

  • If you incur damage to your vehicle as the result of a hurricane, please contact HelpPoint Claim Services by Farmers® at (888) 244-6163 for all your claim needs.

Sources: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); Insurance Information Institute (III).

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