For those living or working in the Atlantic hurricane region, June 1st rarely passes unnoticed. At Setnor Byer Insurance & Risk, we know Hurricane Season is rarely easy and often stressful. We also know the importance of being prepared for whatever Mother Nature has in store for us.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Outlook predicts a 70 percent chance of a below-normal season, a 20 percent chance of a near-normal season and a 10 percent chance of an above-normal season. According to NOAA, there is a 70 percent likelihood that the 2015 hurricane season will bring:

6 – 11  Named Storms, including May’s Tropical Storm Ana (winds of 39 mph or higher)

3 – 6 Hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher)

0 – 2 Major Hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or higher)

Despite having a reason to be optimistic, NOAA reminds us that these predictions should not be used as an excuse to drop our guard or delay preparations. “As we’ve seen before, below-normal seasons can still produce catastrophic impacts to communities,” said NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan, referring to the 1992 season in which only seven named storms formed, the first of which was Andrew – a Category 5 Major Hurricane that devastated South Florida.

Since preparation is critical, here are some tips that can help you weather a storm.

Before the Storm

  • Monitor the news to allow time to finalize preparations.
  • Gather tools and equipment that will be needed before and after the storm (flashlights, batteries, caulking, tarpaulins, sandbags, cutting and fastening equipment, etc.).
  • Clear drains and downspouts to minimize the risk of flooding.
  • Move items inside.
  • Unplug electrical equipment and move property away from windows.
  • Check and secure all documents and records.
  • Take or update photographs of real and personal property.
  • Gather insurance policies and agent/insurer contact information.

After the Storm

  • Only after it has been declared safe to do so, take reasonably necessary steps to protect against any further property damage.
  • Report fallen power lines to power company immediately–stay away from them!
  • Check exterior walls and roof for damage from wind, rain, flying objects and rising waters.
  • Check all interior perimeter walls, floors and roof for leaks and water damage.
  • Document all damage with photographs and video.
  • Prepare detailed damage reports.
  • Call your insurer or agent as soon as possible to report damage.

While preparing for Hurricane Season is never easy, our team of experienced and responsive professionals can help protect your personal and business property. For over 30 years, Setnor Byer Insurance & Risk has been helping clients prepare before the storm and recover after.

If you would like to learn more about how we can help you through the 2015 Hurricane Season, please contact us.