WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting a
near-normal Atlantic hurricane season this year: 10 to 16 named storms,
four to eight hurricanes, and one to four major hurricanes. Even with a
near-average prediction, there is still a chance for more hurricane
activity than recent years. Tropical
Depression Bonnie has already gotten the season off to a drenching
Whether forecasters are calling for an active season or a more moderate
forecast, GEICO offers these reminders to help you protect your family,
property and vehicles from severe weather.
Create an emergency plan. Review and practice an evacuation
plan with everyone in your household. Select an emergency meeting
place away from home and map out the best route to reach a safe
Listen for official instructions. Stay alert for advisories,
and know the difference between a “watch” and a “warning.” Follow
instructions from your local authorities regarding evacuation
procedures. (A “watch” means hurricane conditions are possible. A
“warning” means hurricane conditions are expected.)
Storm-proof your home. Clean gutters, drains and downpipes to
prevent blockages. Trim tree branches to make them more wind
resistant, and secure outdoor items that could blow around in heavy
winds. Consider investing in storm shutters for additional protection
on your windows.
Assemble a safety disaster kit. Prepare a necessities kit that
contains drinking water, non-perishable food items, first-aid,
blankets, batteries, radios and flashlights.
Do a home inventory. Take an inventory (video and photographs)
of your home’s personal property. It will help you gain a better
understanding of the costs associated with replacing your stuff if
it’s ever damaged during a storm.
Gather important documents. Make sure all documents such as
insurance cards, bank account numbers and IDs are placed in a
Consider signing up for first-aid training. Contact your local American
Red Cross chapter about enrolling in a first-aid course. It’s
always handy to know critical emergency skills such as treating burns,
covering cuts and administering CPR.
Check your insurance coverage. Call your insurance carrier and
inquire about your policy coverage and limitations. Identify next
steps just in case you need to file a claim.