As Floridians we are all too aware of concerns that arise when we are threatened by severe weather. Coastal Insurance Group has over 30 years of experience in working with the South Florida community and has assembled the Coastal Insurance Group Catastrophe Team to handle catastrophe losses in a responsive and timely manner. In the event of a natural disaster you can rest assure that we’re here to serve the community and our clients. We’re here to provide you with the information you may need that can help you, your loved ones and personal property stay protected.
When serious catastrophes approach, you should take reasonable steps to protect your property as long as it is safe for you to do so. Check radio, television or other media for emergency information, and immediately follow all advice from authorities regarding evacuation or other safety procedures. Your first priority should be your personal safety. Coastal Insurance Group will be ready to handle any claims once the danger has passed.
Stay informed! Here are some tips on how to keep your family safe and how to recover in case of an emergency:
Find severe weather warnings and updates for your area:
- National Weather Service
Hurricane preparedness from the National Hurricane Center:
- General information
- Specific steps you can take on disaster prevention
- Hurricane Central at Weather.com
- Federal Emergency Management Agency
- American Red Cross
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Emergency Preparedness & Response
Coastal Insurance Group Catastrophe Team: Safety Guide
Securing your family’s safety during severe weather is priority number one. It is important to meet with your safety and prepare in case of an emergency. To begin with, teach your young children how to dial 911, list emergency telephone numbers near every phone. Second, designate the safest interior room in the house as a meeting place. Finally it is crucial to determine an escape route in case of an evacuation. Your family should run an emergency drill to familiarize them with the safety plan.
Family to-do list:
- Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact. This will ensure all your family members have a single point of contact.
- Make plans now for your pets in case of evacuation.
- Protect family valuables such as photographs and computers.
- Keep important documents in a waterproof container, including insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, etc.
- Water! The National Hurricane Center recommends one gallon of water daily per person for seven days.
- A disaster supply kit that includes a manual can opener, blankets, clothing, toiletries, prescription drugs, first aid kits, flashlights, a tool set, batteries, radios and pet care items.
- Check your home’s insurance coverage. Flood insurance is usually not covered by homeowner’s policies.
- Keep cash on hand. Banks and ATMs may be closed.
- Keep your vehicles filled with gas.
- If possible, put vehicles on blocks and wrap with tarps to keep the water out.
- Take First Aid, CPR and disaster preparedness classes.
Find out more
For more detailed information about how to prepare for hurricane season, visit the National Hurricane Center’s website or call the National Flood Insurance Program call 1-800-CALL-FLOOD ext. 445 or at http://www.fema.gov/business/nfip/.
If you are a Coastal Insurance Group policy holder and you need to make a claim, please contact Coastal Insurance Group at www.coastalinsgroup.com or call 305-887-5999. Coastal Insurance Catastrophe Teams are already on alert and ready to assist customers throughout the hurricane season.
Protect your vehicle: Severe Weather Damage Prevention
- If possible move your vehicle away from trees or other objects that may damage it in a storm. Preferable, if possible, move your car into garage or other covered structure.
- To avoid water damage, it is best to keep your vehicle away from low-lying areas prone to flooding.
- If you may be using your vehicle for evacuation, plan your route carefully, keep a full tank of gas, and have emergency supplies ready.
If weather reports forecast hail, the following steps can help prevent damage:
- Protect your vehicle by moving it under a covered structure.
- To avoid injury, do not go outside once a hail storm begins.
- If you are driving when it begins to hail and there is a covered structure nearby, safely move your vehicle to it. If you cannot find a covered structure, pull your car to side of the road and wait for the storm to end.
- If the hail resulted in a broken window, protect your vehicle from further damage by covering the window with plastic or other material.
Flash floods can occur up to 12 hours after a heavy rain storm. Knowing what to do and how to handle potentially dangerous situations can mean the difference between saving or damaging your vehicle. Read on for information about preparing for and handling heavy rain or flood conditions:
- If you see a large puddle or standing water, go around it or choose a different route. It could be hiding a deep hole and even a few inches of water can splash into your engine causing untold damage.
- Heavy rain can make it difficult for other drivers to see you. Keep your headlights on and drive slowly, keeping your eyes out for on-coming traffic.
- If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, make sure you have plenty of fuel and know the local evacuation routes.
- Give yourself plenty of time to brake and do so gently in order to avoid hydroplaning.
Familiarize yourself with terms used to describe weather patterns and warnings. The following list can be found on the FEMA – Are You Ready? website
Flood Watch: Flooding is possible. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
Flash Flood Watch: Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
Flood Warning: Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
Flash Flood Warning: A flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.