First named storm of hurricane season brings reminder to prepare for emergencies, consider flood insurance
Harrisburg – With the Atlantic hurricane season now under way, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency reminds residents to always be prepared for the possibility of severe weather.
“The remnants of Hurricane Sandy brought so much devastation to much of the state last October,” said PEMA Director Glenn M. Cannon. “The National Weather Service says our biggest threat from Tropical Storm Andrea is heavy rain and possible flooding in the eastern part of the state, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore the threat of severe weather that we face during the summer here in Pennsylvania.”
Families should prepare for two scenarios in the event of severe weather: to remain in their homes during the duration of a storm or to evacuate if it is recommended, or ordered, by local authorities.
Residents should always have enough provisions in their homes to last at least 72 hours because help from emergency responders may not be immediately available when severe weather strikes.
Other disaster preparedness supplies to have at the ready include flashlights, a portable battery-operated radio, extra batteries, a first aid kit, emergency food and water, an non-electric can opener, essential medicines or prescriptions, cash, credit cards, important legal documents, and sturdy shoes.
If residents are ordered by local officials to evacuate, they should do so without hesitating and should take important identification documents with them, including checkbooks, driver’s license, credit card information, birth certificates, and social security cards.
“Planning what you and your family would do and how you would communicate before and during an emergency makes sense because ultimately, it could save the lives of those you love,” Cannon said.
For more information on how to make a disaster supply kit and how to prepare for all kinds of emergencies, visit www.readypa.org or call 1-888-9-READYPA (1-888-973-2397).
The beginning of hurricane season is a good time to review insurance policies for adequate coverage on property, Cannon noted. PEMA encourages Pennsylvanians to consider buying flood insurance policies for homes and businesses that can be insured.
Early preparation is important because flood insurance policies generally require 30 days before taking effect.
Unlike wind damage, damage caused by rising water is not covered by homeowners or business insurance policies. Flood insurance coverage must be purchased separately. Most insurance companies and licensed insurance agents handle flood insurance policies.
For more information about flood insurance, visit www.floodsmart.gov. To protect your property with a flood insurance policy, call your insurance agent or call 1-800-427-2419 to find an agent near you.