How to be prepared for a hurricane

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The upcoming storm season begins Friday, June 1 and runs through the month of November. South Carolina has been hit hard the past several years, first with the flood of 2015 and then experienced hurricanes, including last year’s Hurricane Irma. We need to plan and prepare now so that our homes and families are protected against whatever Mother Nature sends our way.

How to prepare for hurricane season:

Make an emergency plan and discuss the plan with your family. Engage your family in making a plan, so that everyone knows what to do and when to do it.
Know Your Evacuation Zone- Know Your Zone is a public education campaign to inform the citizens and visitors of South Carolina of the hurricane evacuation zones and their vulnerability to storm surge. Please visit scemd.org/KnowYourZone to learn more. Prepare an emergency kit. Make sure you have nonperishable food, water and a first aid kit handy. It is best to also collect important documents and keep them in one place for easy access in the event of an evacuation. Review your insurance policy. As you make your preparations, review your insurance policy as it is important to know what your policy covers and what it excludes long before a severe weather event occurs. Review your policy with your agent to understand the coverage and exclusions. Prepare your home and property. Develop a room-by-room inventory of your home. Take pictures, write down items in each room. A home inventory checklist in available on our website here.

 

Why is it important to have flood insurance? 

Water that enters the home from street flooding, an overflow of a creek, river or stream or storm surges are generally covered by flood insurance – not a homeowners or renters policy. Coverage is available for homeowners and renters.
Flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). To learn more about flood insurance, ask you agent and visit http://www.Floodsmart.gov.
Regardless of whether your property is considered to be in a flood zone or not, it is a very good idea to consider purchasing a flood insurance policy. The 1000 year flood event of 2015 is testament to the fact that floods can occur at any time, not only associated with hurricanes and wind events. As we witnessed from this event, many areas that have never flooded did during that event.

 

How to spot a scam:

Unfortunately, often there are individuals that may try to take advantage of people as they are working to recover. While it is important to always safeguard your personal information, it is especially important following a natural disaster. As you work to recover and repair your property you will likely be sharing your personal information with government officials, financial institutions, insurance personnel such as adjusters as well as contractors and repairmen. You must stay alert and ask for identification of these individuals before providing your personal information.
Contact the company or organization the individual is representing and verify their identity. Do not provide personal or financial information to someone until you have verified their identity. Send your information securely.  For home repairs, do not pay in full upfront for repairs and make sure you have a copy of a written contract before the work begins.

 

Email: consumers@doi.sc.gov │ Call: 803-737-6180 │ Toll-Free: 1-800-768-3467
8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (Mon. – Thurs.) and 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Fri.)

 

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