INSURANCE . RETIREMENT . INVESTMENTS
June 1st – November 30th is the officially designated Rainy season period as well as the Atlantic Hurricane Season. What does this mean for Caribbean islands? The Rainy season has finally arrived. The question is, are you ready?
While we welcome the change from the blistering sun experienced during the Dry season, to the pitter patter of rain in the Rainy season, this time of year also heralds hurricanes, tropical storms and other natural weather disasters associated with the weather system.
Therefore ample preparation must be made early into the season to ensure that you and your loved ones are well-equipped to deal with any natural disaster or issue that may arise as a result.
Here are 5 preparation tips:
1. Have an emergency kit: Here are some things that your emergency kit should include:
- Emergency store of food: Canned foods, Non-perishable foods. Ensure that these items are kept in a cool, dry area that is preferably elevated.
- Flashlights, batteries, candles, lamps and other forms of light in the event of loss of electricity.
- Clean drinking water. This should be stored in clean, sealable plastic containers.
- A medicine kit with plasters, bandages, sutures, anti-septic, gauze, painkillers and antibiotics.
- Materials for fast home repairs – Galvanize, nails, plastic sheeting, wooden plans, silicone, sealing tape.
- Sand bags – a crude but useful device that can reroute the flow of flood water from your home.
2. Secure your home: These are some ways you can secure your home:
- Ensure that your roof is bolted securely and check for any signs of leakage. Fast remedies for leaks are flashing tape.
- Properly install window panes. Strong winds are notorious for dislodging both roofs and window panes.
- Seal your windows and doors. Water can easily enter through small spaces even if the windows and doors are closed. Silicone is a great choice for sealing these spaces and preventing water from entering.
- Clear your guttering of debris. This debris can lead to backlogging of rain water and this can result in flooding of your home.
- Have the electrical and wiring works in your home inspected. Faulty wiring and power outages do not go hand in hand; it is better to fix faulty wiring before the Rainy season, as lightning and power outages have been known to cause fires in homes.
- Install storm shutters to protect your windows and prevent them from shattering.
3. Plan your escape route: If it comes down to it, you will need to evacuate your home in order to save your life and those of your family. Despite fortifying your home, the unpredictability of the rain and strong winds can lead to disastrous consequences that you did not prepare for. Storms can progress to higher and more dangerous stages in a matter of hours and this is difficult to predict; you may have prepared for a Category 1 Hurricane, but instead it has upgraded to a Category 3. Should a situation like this occur, you must have an escape route planned and a safe haven to go to.
Your escape route must be free of obstacles, such as fallen trees, power lines, electricity poles and such, and should take you directly to your safe haven. Safe havens are commonly buildings such as schools, community centers, earthquake centers, places of worship; any building that is sturdy enough to withstand the onslaught of storms or storm-like conditions.
NOTE: Ensure that your vehicle is in top-working condition. This includes, but is not limited to, new tyres, no broken windows, no leaks and a full tank of fuel.
4. Take an inventory of your personal property: As difficult as it may be to think about, the possibility of incurring losses during a hurricane is quite real, whether this be damage to your vehicle as a result of flood waters, or spoilage of appliances due to power surges.
This is why it is important to take a complete and comprehensive inventory of your personal property. This inventory should include all of your belongings: appliances, machinery, jewelry, vehicles. Anything that you own and value should be placed on this list.
In the aftermath of the hurricane, should you have encountered losses of inventory, you would be able to refer to your inventory listing to easily determine what you have lost and what you managed to secure.
5. Review your insurance policies: You should not wait for a hurricane to hit before reviewing your insurance policies. This should be done in the months leading up to the Rainy season to ensure that your policies cover you completely in the event that you incur losses as a result of hurricane damage.
By reviewing your insurance policies, you are up to date as to how much coverage your existing plan offers you. This is crucial, as an outdated plan will not provide coverage for contents that you would have purchased after starting your policy which is particularly worrying if these new items are costly. In our point above, we recommended that you take an inventory of your personal property; not only does this inventory help you to gauge your losses, but it also gives you critical information on items that have been covered under a Contents Insurance plan, which assists greatly in making your Insurance claims.
General Insurance for Home and Contents coverage are based on the value of your home and contents; if you have recently purchased new items for your home, you may want to update your policy to increase coverage to reflect this.
For more information on Home and Contents Insurance, contact Guardian General at 226-6944.
We hope that this blog was an informative read for you and gives you the insight you need to prepare for the Rainy season. Thank you and join us again next week for more!