Hurricane Series Part 1: Safeguard Your Loved Ones

Tropical storms and hurricanes usually arrive with enough warning to allow you to take steps to protect your family and furry companions. But they can take unexpected turns, so preparation is key. Lockton is committed to helping you keep loved ones out of harm’s way, in addition to streamlining the claims process for any property losses that may occur. Below are our recommendations on proactive steps you should take every season, and a few actions to consider if you are not under evacuation orders.

Annual activities

  1. Update your “bug-out” bags, which are typically backpacks with necessities. Refresh protein bars, cans of non-perishable food, and bottles of water. Recharge your power banks and flashlights.

  2. Ensure your emergency bag (opens a new window) and safe room have basic survival tools such as candles and waterproof matches, manual can opener, duct tape, plastic sheeting, water purification tablets, toilet paper, and other necessities. You can never include too many zip-top bags.

  3. Review your first aid kit and confirm that medications haven’t expired. Ensure it contains a variety of band aids, pain relievers, antiseptic cream, eye wash, gauze, tape, compression wrap, latex gloves, alcohol wipes, scissors and tweezers. Include medications, baby supplies, hygiene products, and other items that you can’t live without.

  4. Don’t forget your pets! Make sure you have a bug-out bag for them filled with dry food, medications, leashes, and possibly a calming vest for anxious dogs. Have a plan to transport them to safety and don’t forget that they need water, too.

  5. Place printed copies of important documents such as emergency contact information (no one memorizes phone numbers anymore) and insurance policies in a waterproof pouch and also make digital copies. Originals should be kept in a bank safety deposit box or waterproof vault.

  6. Review your evacuation plan with your family and modify as needed. Assign accountability for action items like turning off water valves, closing windows and shutters, unplugging appliances, and filling your gas tank. Identify local shelters and know how to get to them.

  7. Select an interior room as a designated safe space. Consider moving art, jewelry, heirlooms and other precious items here before the storm. In some cities, offsite security vaults may be available for the temporary safekeeping of luxury vehicles and other high-end valuables.

Riding-out the storm at home

  1. If you are not under evacuation orders, make sure you have three to five days of non-perishable food stocked in a ground floor, interior safe room. Provide at least one gallon of water per day, per person.

  2. Fill bathtubs and buckets with water before the storm hits. This water will come in handy for multiple purposes.

  3. Without the internet, everyone is bound to get bored. Have some games, cards, and paperback books handy.

  4. Invest in long-burning candles but make sure to check for gas leaks before lighting. Also, don’t depend on your phone as a flashlight – purchase some LED lanterns and LED flashlights with extra batteries. You may want to consider investing in a portable battery charger or generator, and a solar-powered radio is a must-have for local updates.

  5. A portable propane grill can help you boost morale with a hot meal or even s’mores. Again, check for gas leaks before igniting them.

  6. If you reside in a humid area, a camping fan with rechargeable battery could save the day.

View our handy Hurricane Preparedness Checklist (opens a new window)and download it at your convenience.

In Part 2, we’ll remind you of ways to keep your precious belongings safer. Whether it’s your home, cars, collections, or sentimental heirlooms, Lockton can provide a roadmap for keeping what you cherish out of harm’s way. And if a loss does occur, we personally manage claims on behalf of our clients to maximize positive outcomes and minimize disruptions.