CHARLOTTE – Hurricane Dorian may have spared the Charlotte region in terms of severe weather, but that doesn’t mean the area is in the clear. Hurricane season continues into the fall.
AAA Carolinas urges residents in the Carolinas to stay up-to-date on evacuation routes and safety information.
AAA Carolinas recommends the following tips prior to a hurricane:
• Locate all of your important records (such as passports, birth certificates and insurance documents) in advance of a natural disaster and secure them in a bank safety deposit box to avoid damage.
• Plan your family’s evacuation route and have an emergency plan.
• Comprise an emergency kit of bottled water, non-perishable food, batteries, flashlights and first aid supplies.
• Do not leave your pets behind.
• If you or a loved one depends on electric power for things like medical equipment, make plans to get where it can be guaranteed or prioritized.
• Inventory your belongings and keep valuable belongings in a waterproof pouch, including documents and photos. your personal belongings are also at risk in a storm. Because of this, documenting your personal possessions is recommended. Having a home inventory makes filing a home insurance claim simpler and can expedite the claims process.
How to prepare your home before a hurricane:
• Board windows. Windows are one of the most vulnerable parts of your home. Protect them by boarding them with proper plywood to prevent breaking or install window shutters if there is time.
• Board and blockade doors. You want to prevent your door from flying open. Board it up with plywood or block the handle to prevent strong winds from taking it down.
• Purchase seals for watertight protection for doors and windows.
• Check for loose siding on your home and secure it if necessary.
• Remove all “flyables” from outside. Patio furniture and outside décor can turn into dangerous projectiles with hurricane force winds. Bring all of that inside as well as bikes and children’s toys.
• Moor your boat, trailer, gear and supplies.
• Move items that absolutely cannot get wet to higher ground.
• If you need to evacuate, turn off all utilities and disconnect any electrical items in the home. Water and electricity don’t mix – so anything left connected is a fire hazard.
• Take a home inventory – your personal belongings are also at risk in a storm. Because of this, documenting your personal possessions is recommended. Having a home inventory makes filing a home insurance claim simpler and can expedite the claims process.
For those with travel plans during hurricane season, it is important to monitor the weather and keep an eye on your trip:
• AAA urges travelers to check with their travel agent and travel providers for cancellation policies and itinerary changes.
• It is important to monitor weather conditions regularly, both at your departure city and destination.
• Check your flight status before leaving for the airport. Consider signing up for text or mobile app alerts from your airline for the latest flight information.
• When flying, bring essentials in your carry-on bag in case travel schedules change.
• Check with your hotel for local updates on the storm’s impact.
• Heed all evacuation advisories and orders.
• Before traveling internationally, enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the nearest embassy or consulate to contact them in case of an emergency.
• Consider purchasing travel insurance before a trip to protect you in the event of severe inclement weather.