According to the experts at Colorado State University, it is predicted that this year's hurricane season will have above-normal activity. This activity includes 16 tropical storms, eight of which will become hurricanes. There is a 58% probability that at least one of those will be a major hurricane ranking between categories 3-5. The first of these Atlantic storms will be Arthur, followed by Bertha, Cristobal, Dolly, Edouard, Fay, and Gonzal.
No matter the weather conditions, your chances of beating any storm are greatly determined by your level of preparedness. With June 1st quickly approaching, and kicking off the season that runs through 11/30, we're sharing these seven tips from the American Bankers Association to help you prepare at home.
What you can do now
- Know your risk. FEMA's map service center will show you the flood risk for your community, which helps determine the type of flood insurance coverage you will need. Flood insurance should be a necessity, as standard homeowners insurance doesn't cover flooding and may have different deductibles for storm damage.
- Talk to your insurance agent or broker. A good flood insurance policy can be a financial lifesaver following a damaging event such as a hurricane – but even good policies may have restrictions. Talk to your agent, so you understand what your plan does and does not cover.
- Assemble an emergency kit. The emergency kit should include first aid supplies, a flashlight, extra batteries, at least three days of non-perishable foods and water, towels, and a supply of any necessary medications. Stay informed of the storm's path and progress by monitoring Wireless Emergency Alerts via text message and having a battery-powered radio or TV available.
- Develop a family communications plan. Know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together if separated, and what you will do in different situations. Having a plan can eliminate some of the stress and confusion.
- Establish an evacuation route. Before a storm, contact your local American Red Cross to locate the shelter nearest you or download their Shelter Finder App. Identify the safest route to get there. Be sure to check if your local emergency shelter allows animals and family pets.
- Secure your home. Outdoor furniture and other objects can pose a potential hazard. Turn off propane tanks and other utilities if instructed to do so by emergency personnel.
- Protect financial documents. In the event of a disaster, you will need identification and financial documents to begin the recovery process. Safeguard important documents in a bank safety deposit box, computer storage devices (USB drive, CD/DVD), and/or waterproof storage containers, including:
- Personal identification (driver's licenses, birth certificates, military IDs, passports, etc.)
- Financial account information (checking, savings, retirement, and investment accounts, credit/debit cards).
- Insurance policies on all personal property, including appraisals and lists and photos of valuable items.
- Ownership or leasing documentation for homes and vehicles (deeds, titles, registrations, rental agreements, etc.)
- All health and medical insurance documentation.
The FEMA website, Ready.gov, also offers tips on preparing for an emergency, including a free app that is available for download through your smartphone and an emergency financial first aid kit to help keep your finances well-organized during a potential storm. For more resources, visit the FEMA site: http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes.
Don't forget that we offer a variety of ways to keep you connected to your account. Our mobile app, text banking, online banking, and our automated teller (800-417-6675) are all available 24/7. Additionally, we post staffing updates on the following stations and social media platforms by 7:00 am each day in question, then throughout the day.
If there is another way that we can better serve you during this time, please let us know. Until then, stay safe. Get prepared.